Police have charged a 19-year-old woman from North Sydney with impaired driving after a car crashed into a duplex in Reserve Mines, N.S.

It was a scene that had witnesses almost in disbelief: a car, with its front end sticking out through the wall of a duplex and the rest inside a living room.

Miriam MacLellan lives in the other half of the duplex and says she couldn't believe her eyes when she looked out her door after hearing a loud bang.

"We didn't know what it was, but we thought the house was collapsing,” MacLellan said. “That's how bad the tremor was. And my friend went out the door.  And she said 'Oh my god, half that house is gone.'"

No one was injured and neighbours say the 83-year-old resident lives alone.

"Upon arrival, we found a female trapped inside the vehicle,” said Jeff Aucoin, fire chief of the Reserve Mines Volunteer Fire Department. “Our members acted very quickly to remove her.  And tend to the male who was inside."

Aucoin said firefighters had to be careful”

“There was some concern about the structural integrity of the building,” he said. “But we had some local contractors on site to assist with the removal of the vehicle."

According to witnesses, the man who lives in the home had been sitting in his living room just before the crash happened and got up to use the washroom. They say had he still been on his couch at the time, things could have been much different.

"Houses can be replaced,” MacLellan said. “People can't. You know?"

Police say the woman charged with impaired driving has been released on a promise to appear in court next month.

As for the man who lives there, neighbours say he had already been planning to fly out west today to visit family. Since it will take some time to repair his home - if it's salvageable – the timing of his vacation couldn’t be better.

With files from Ryan MacDonald.