LA PORTE, Texas – A volunteer firefighter is facing charges after he crashed his pickup truck into a neighbor’s home in La Porte overnight.
Blake Andrew Stevens, 31, is charged with driving while intoxicated and unlawful carrying of a handgun.
The La Porte Fire Department said earlier he has been suspended.
After posting a $1500 bond, Stevens told reporters he would resign for giving the fire department a "bad name."
"I apologize to the family and I apologize to the fire department," Stevens said.
Police say Stevens, who was on his way to Fire Station 4 to respond to a general alarm for a fire, lost control of his 2006 Dodge pickup on Shady Lane near Highway 146. His truck went through a steel fence before it crashed into a home around 11 p.m.
“It sounded like the house was kind of blowing up,” said homeowner Glen Lindblade. “I mean, that’s my son’s bed. So this could have been a whole lot worse. I’m actually, I feel very blessed. And, this is a great day.”
The truck stopped just feet from 6-year old Xander's bunk bed but he wasn’t in the room. About 30 minutes before the crash, Xander had asked to sleep in his little brother’s bedroom.
“Probably the best decision we’ve ever made,” said Lindblade.
In all, six people inside walked out unharmed.
In his mugshot, Stevens is seen with a few cuts on his face.
“Unfortunately, he chose to consume alcoholic beverages and then respond to a fire which is a direct violation of La Porte Volunteer Fire Department’s policy,” explained Sgt. Bennie Boles with the La Porte Police Department.
He confirmed that the officers who initially responded to the scene smelled alcohol on Stevens. The volunteer firefighter was taken to the police station where he was given a number of DWI-related tests, including a blood draw.
Boles also said Stevens told authorities he consumed alcohol sometime before the collision.
“I can’t believe to even think about how bad he can feel right now,” said JD Rayas, a longtime friend and roommate of Stevens. “Because he’s supposed to be helping the community.”
Rayas said Stevens is a Navy veteran who received La Porte’s Firefighter of the Year Award for 2016. The city of La Porte confirmed Stevens became a volunteer firefighter with the city in 2015.
Neighbors who spoke with KHOU 11 accused the driver of frequently speeding on the street, saying they had reported him to police before.
“He is always in a hurry. That’s the best way I can say it. He drives very, very fast,” said Lindblade.
Records show Stevens lives just a few houses down from where he crashed.
Police say while Stevens has a license to carry, his arrest for DWI "made it unlawful for him to possess the firearm."
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