Arson Suspected in Calif. Enterprise Lot Fire

Firefighters suspect an arsonist started a fire that burned four Chevrolet vans and a Ford pickup truck at the Enterprise rental car lot in Vallejo, Calif. on the morning of Oct. 17.

Assistant Fire Chief Ray Dandridge said it appears the arsonist used an accelerant to start the fire at three of the vehicles’ gas input doors, two of which were open, Dandridge said.

Four Chevrolet 10- to 12-seat passenger vans and a Ford pickup burned, Dandridge said.

The fire also spread to several trees near the vehicles and to a maintenance building where vehicles are typically washed and vacuumed.

The cause of the fire is not believed to be electrical or mechanical and it appears three of the vehicles were set on fire at the same time, Dandridge said.

According to the assistant chief, the vehicles caught fire quickly and the blaze spread quickly. It would not have spread as fast if only one car had been set on fire.

Firefighters used foam to extinguish the blaze in about 25 minutes. Firefighters also had to deal with leaking gas when the vehicles’ gas lines ruptured.

Dandridge estimated each van was worth about $30,000 and damage to the maintenance building was about $25,000 to $30,000. A spokeswoman for Enterprise in St. Louis said damage was minimal and the business would re-open Oct. 20. Rental customers have been referred to the company’s other store in Vallejo, she said.

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