Cory Gallacher's wife and two-year-old daughter were sleeping in a bedroom at the back of the house when he heard the crash.
"It makes me sick inside," he said.
A car had pummelled into his living room and burst into flames, filling the air with thick, black smoke.
"I thought a train derailed," recalled Gallacher. "I opened my door to a car in my living room and igniting in flames. The smell was disgusting."
He ran outside, where he finally registered what had happened.
Neighbour Chris Reid looked out his window and said he heard Gallacher screaming "that his kid was in the house."
Gallacher ran back inside "to save the house," he said.
Driver fled on foot
During the crash, the car struck and severed a gas line.
Acting PLT chief Brian Hopkins said an explosion was possible.
"It's very dangerous," he said.
All three members of the Gallacher family and their cat escaped the house unharmed.
But the driver fled the scene.
Gallacher and his neighbours provided police with a description of the suspect, who was later picked up walking in downtown Oshawa, said Dave Selby from Durham Regional Police.
A 25-year-old woman from Whitby, Ont., has been charged and appeared in court Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, structural engineers assessed the Gallacher home. They deemed it unsafe for the family to stay in, and the Gallachers have temporarily moved in with some relatives.