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Fire in parked van injures owner

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A man was injured Monday afternoon when his parked van caught fire near The Corvallis Clinic.

The maroon Ford Econoline was parked on Northwest Satinwood Street behind the parking lot for the clinic’s Asbury Building at about 3:15 p.m. when a passer-by called 911 to report seeing flames inside the vehicle, according to Corvallis Fire Department spokesman Jim Patton.

The van’s owner, who apparently was its only occupant, was treated at the scene and taken to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for treatment of what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to Sgt. Ben Harvey of the Corvallis Police Department, who responded to the call. The man’s name was not immediately available.

Two engines, an ambulance and a command vehicle from the Corvallis Fire Department responded, and the fire was extinguished by about 3:25. Flames from the burning vehicle scorched the overhanging branches of a large oak tree and burned a small patch of blackberries and grass next to the street, but cars parked on either side of the gutted van apparently were not damaged.

Battalion Chief David Still said the fire might have grown larger if it had happened later in the summer.

“It’s been warm, but things are still kind of wet,” Still said. “Another couple weeks, it could have been worse.”

Patton said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

“We’re not necessarily treating it as suspicious, but we are investigating,” he said.

Two dogs belonging to the van’s owner ran off after the fire started, but both were eventually retrieved, according to Patton.

Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or bennett.hall@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.

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