Officials: Man caught fire trying to siphon gas from U-Haul truck

Officials: Man caught fire trying to siphon gas from U-Haul truck
Posted at 4:36 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 11:56:46-05

PORTLAND, OR (KOIN/CNN) - As seen on surveillance video, a man’s pants caught fire while he was allegedly trying to siphon gas from a U-Haul truck. Authorities are searching for the suspect.

Two vehicles engulfed in flames caught the attention of security guards in Portland, OR, around 7 a.m. Monday morning. The guards called 911, and Portland Fire & Rescue quickly extinguished the blaze.

Surveillance video from a nearby store showed a man in the area when the fire broke out. Investigators say he was trying to steal gas from a U-Haul by using tubes to siphon the fuel.

But something went wrong.

“Something ignited that gasoline and caused a fire. We don't believe that this was what the individual intended,” said Lt. Rich Chatman with Fire & Rescue.

Fire officials say the fire started in the suspect’s van and quickly spread to the U-Haul. It also caught on the suspect’s clothing.

“He runs out of the vehicle; his lower half of his clothing is on fire. It sounds like he was in quite a hurry to get down the block here. Some of his clothing came off,” Chatman said.

Investigators are working to identify and locate the suspect.

“We assume he’ll be needing some kind of medical care for those burns. That looked like it was a pretty significant burn injury he probably has,” Chatman said.

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