Car fire ignites inside parking garage

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A white Pontiac car in the K-State Parking Garage caught fire on Feb. 26, 2015. (George Walker | The Collegian)

Plumes of smoke billowed out the side of the parking garage Thursday afternoon as fire scorched a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix. Two people on the scene were treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters received a call about the fire at 12:27 p.m., according to Sam Dameron, Manhattan Fire Department’s assistant chief of operations.

Dameron said fire crews had to use a brush truck in order to reach the vehicle since the fire engines could not enter the parking garage.

“We’re not sure how it started yet,” Dameron said.

Fire crews found the car, parked on the west side of the third floor of the garage, with fire coming out of the engine. K-State Parking Services employees attempted to put it out with fire extinguishers.

Fire crews attempted to use the standpipe system in the garage in order to get water to the third floor, but were unable to do so due to an obstructed pipe.

When contacted, Parking Services referred the Collegian to K-State’s Division of Communications and Marketing. Personnel there did not answer any questions, instead referring to a press statement. However, their office did not publish any statement on the matter.

The press release issued by the fire department did mention that Parking Services officials assured them that the garage was safe and no damage was done to the structure.

An unidentified man wearing jeans, T-shirt and a black jacket attempted to prevent people from getting to the west side of the third floor of the garage. The man threatened to have a Collegian student employee arrested, even though said student already received police permission to access the area.

Maj. Don Stubbings of the K-State Police Department said the man did not work for the police department.

“That’s not one of ours,” Stubbings said. “All of ours were in uniform.”

The car, valued at $2,000, was considered a total loss according to the fire department.

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