On Friday around 10:55 am, a car crashed into a home in the Mar Vista neighborhood, causing a “heavy fire,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Heche, 53, was pulled from the car, a Mini Cooper, and transported to a hospital.
It took 59 firefighters and 65 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which caused major damage, according to the fire department.
A woman was inside the home during the crash but was not injured, CNN reported. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the woman, who “lost her entire lifetime of possessions,” according to the fundraiser statement.
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the circumstances of the crash, including the possibility that Heche may have been driving under the influence, Officer Norma Eisenman, a spokeswoman, confirmed to The Washington Post. A warrant for the actress’s blood was obtained the day of the incident, Eisenman said. As of early Tuesday, Heche had not been charged with any crime.
Heche’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.
Heche’s acting career took off after she appeared on the soap opera “Another World” beginning in the 1980s, and she later starred in films including “Donnie Brasco” and “Six Days Seven Nights.” She dated Ellen DeGeneres for 3½ years beginning in the late 1990s, in a relationship that attracted intense public attention.
Shortly before the crash on Friday, around 10:35 am, Heche bought a wig at a salon in Venice, the salon’s owner, Richard Glass, told the Los Angeles Times, adding that she was in good spirits and did not appear to be intoxicated . He posted a photo on Instagram with a smiling Heche.
TMZ reported that Heche crashed her vehicle into the garage of an apartment building that same morning. The media outlet obtained video it says shows her peeling off after the collision, though the footage is not time-stamped.
Surveillance footage from 10:53 am that day, obtained by CBSLA and TMZ, shows Heche’s blue Mini Cooper speeding through Mar Vista just before crashing into the house, according to the outlets.
David Manpearl, a neighbor of the destroyed home, told the Times he was at his desk on Friday morning when he saw a car speed past his window. He heard a crash moments later. Manpearl ran out of his house and down the street, where he saw a car had driven through the front of his neighbor’s house and was wedged in the back wall, he told the Times. Going inside, he saw a barefoot occupant in the middle of her kitchen, asking for help with her pets, he told the paper.
“She couldn’t move because the ceiling had come down, so there was all kinds of debris everywhere,” Manpearl said, adding that he helped the house’s occupant get to safety — and tried to help Heche.
“It got to a point where there was fire everywhere. It was all around us,” Manpearl told the Times. “It had spread from the car to the house and the smoke was getting thick. I kept hoping that the fire department was there, but it hadn’t come yet, and eventually I had to leave the house for my own safety.”
Heche was transported to the hospital with severe injuries, and CBSLA reported the wrecked blue Mini Cooper was later pulled out of the house.