A Selden man was arrested Tuesday night and now stands accused of driving while high on drugs after crashing his pickup truck into the home of a dedicated firefighter and causing the house to become engulfed in flames, Suffolk County police said.
Anthony Capuano, 35, was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and second-degree reckless endangerment.
Police said Capuano was driving on Choate Avenue in Selden around 7:14 p.m., when he lost control of his pickup truck and slammed into the side of a home at 4 Choate Ave. Arriving officers found that Capuano “apparently lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a natural gas line in the home,” cops said.
Fire sources identified the home as that of Selden Fire Department Lt. Michael Cosgrove, who was at the firehouse working when the accident occurred. An incorrect address initially given to a fire dispatcher left Cosgrove unaware that he was responding to his own home, when the call came in last night, sources said. When he arrived to the scene, Cosgrove reportedly ran to the home for word on his family members who were inside when the house became engulfed in flames.
Police said a nine-year-old child, seven-year-old child, and their mother were inside when Capuano careened into the side of the home. They “got out of the house and were not injured,” police said.
National Grid crews, LIPA crews, and Suffolk Water Authority employees responded to the home as flames continued to engulf the pickup truck and one side of the home. Firefighters said it was necessary to allow the flames to continue until National Grid responded to the scene to shut off the gas line.
Capuano was held overnight in police custody and is scheduled for arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip on Wednesday.