Driver charged with DWI after car hits house, sparks fire

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Submitted: Mon, 10/29/2012 - 9:29pm
Updated: Fri, 11/09/2012 - 3:26pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A strange scene on Kenwood Avenue near Market Street in Wilmington after a car ran into a house and started a fire.

The house went up in smoke just after noon after a Jeep lost control and ran into the side of it.

One witness was enjoying a day off on her porch and saw the whole thing.

“I guess he just went right in between the houses right into the kitchen of the lady’s house,” Kelly Larue said.

She said what she heard after the crash was even more frightening than what she saw.

“All you could hear was the gas line going off. Then the house just exploded,” Larue said.

The leaking gas forced neighbors to evacuate their homes until crews arrived.

“We do have the gas company on scene to secure the gas,” Assistant Fire Chief Jon Mason said. “At this point we are keeping the fire fed by the gas under control and have controlled the fire in the structure.”

Smoke from fire could be seen for miles and caught the attention of many people.

“We came driving around, and we saw smoke going across market street, turned in and saw all these fire trucks,” a woman from Forest Hills said.

Police say the driver of the Jeep is Robert Castorena, 52, of Wilmington. He was not seriously hurt, but is charged with DWI. He’s due in court tomorrow.

Witnesses say the homeowner’s children were at school during the accident. Police say no one in the house was hurt.


  • bruns co resident says:

    My opinion is that if someone is charged with a DWI then they should automatically be charged w/ attempted murder… Not just a felony conviction but an attempted murder conviction… because then maybe they would think twice about getting behind the wheel, b/c let’s face it, that’s pretty much what they are doing is putting others lives at risk… Right now it’s a slap on the hand, a “don’t do that again Johnny.. we’re going to take your license for a year, but you can still drive to work or school or a religious function… b/c you’re such a good Samaritan and you follow the law so well we’re sure you won’t drive without your license…. so that’s enough to teach you a lesson…” forget about the other people‚Äôs lives that were at risk… It’s a blessing this woman’s family was not home during the incident and I just pray she is able to recoup all that is lost over an idiots selfish choices…

  • Guest2020 says:

    Thank God no one was hurt. A family has lost their home because of another idiot who chose to get behind the wheel while impaired. It is past time that NC makes DWI a felony.

  • Guest 10111 says:

    Mr. Castorena was under medication. If you check the star news mug shots you will see he is not listed there! WWAY needs to look into this and if they find it to be acurrate, update their story accordingly

  • SurfCityTom says:

    on whether he had insurance or if he did, will it be sufficient to pay all of the damages?

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