Crack pipes found at site of burning van in SLO

mfountain@thetribunenews.comJanuary 17, 2014 

Crews from San Luis Obispo City Fire and Cal Fire respond to a burning van in a field behind the Damon-Garcia Sports Fields on Wednesday.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com Buy Photo

A fire that started in an abandoned vehicle Wednesday night on the 600 block of Tank Farm Road spread to surrounding vegetation before firefighters put it out, authorities said.

Firefighters received a report about 9:21 p.m. of a 1987 Ford Econoline van ablaze just south of the Damon Garcia Sports Fields, said San Luis Obispo Fire Department Battalion Chief Neal Berryman.

When crews arrived, the fire had spread from the car to about a third of an acre, where there was no water source to fight the fire. Firefighters had to cut through a locked double gate to get to the blaze, then trucked in about 2,000 gallons of water to extinguish the flames, Berryman said.

The fire was put out by about 9:34 p.m., when fire personnel and police discovered cooking materials and crack cocaine pipes, which were confiscated by officers. Berryman said there was no property damage or monetary loss, other than the value of the van. The fire has been ruled suspicious, and the investigation is continuing.

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