Video: SteamOut Van Ablaze on Wildwood


Two local businesspeople lost an asset this afternoon, when their SteamOut van caught fire at 3502 Wildwood.

The fire appears to have sprung from the inside of the van where a the carpet cleaning machine was running as they cleaned the interior of an apartment at that address. 

Currently, the fire department is spraying water and foam on the van to extinguish the flames. The van was close to neighboring apartment units and the fire department successfully prevented any spread of the flames. 

Gas leaking near the bottom of the van has ignited a continual blaze and the hoses coming out of the van have been melted off. 

Firefighters continue to battle the blaze and no one has been reported injured in the incident.


Firefighters Battle SteamOut Blaze

Karla Steppe said two employess were inside apartment 137 cleaning the apartment and were having suction problems, so they went outside and discovered the van was on fire. 

An eyewitness on scene said he heard an "explosion".  Another witness said he heard loud cracks and pops when the van burst into flames. Steppe is investigating the fire.

Update 8:20 p.m.

Fire investigator Karla Steppe said that the cause is undetermined. However, two factors contributed to the fire. First, the carpet cleaners had a busy day and the carpet steamer machine mounted in the back of the van was hot. The heat contributed to heating oil drippings around the unit to ignition temperature. Second, the liner in the van was probably the vehicle by which the fire spread throughout the van. Also, the cleaning unit operated on gasoline. There was a fuel line near the unit that ruptured and caused a gas fire that was observed underneath the van.

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Lots of black smoke was billowing from the fire and streaming over the loop at the College Hills interchange.

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