Man critically burned in accidental van fire in Greeley


(Photo: Larry Bases)

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GREELEY, Colo. — A service van caught fire at a Greeley home on Monday morning, severely burning a man, the Greeley Fire Department said.

The fire happened about 9:30 a.m. at 4037 W. 15th St. Lane, a fire official said. When crews arrived, they discovered a van fully engulfed in the driveway of a home.

A man managed to get out of the van when rescue crews arrived, officials said. The fire threatened a nearby open garage and home after the fuel tank of the van ruptured, sending burning gasoline down the driveway and into the street.

Fire crews extinguished the fire before it spread farther and damage was contained to the van with the exterior of the garage having minimal damage.

The burn victim was identified as Wayne William, 44, and he was transported to North Colorado Medical Center. The extent of his injuries was unknown.

A fire spokeswoman said William worked for Max Clean and the van contained cleaning equipment, including a vacuum unit, an air compressor and a portable generator.

After working for approximately 90 minutes, William noticed the generator wasn’t running properly and found a small amount of fuel running out of the generator.

When he opened the fuel tank, a large amount of fuel flowed out and ignited when the vapors came into contact with the exhaust of the running generator. William was burned by the flash fire, setting the interior of the van on fire.

Damage to the van and equipment was estimated at $15,000. The garage and the homeowner’s pickup truck suffered an additional $10,000 in damage.

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