VIDEO: Firefighters battle car blaze in Downtown parking lot

Firefighters doused a blaze that engulfed two vehicles in a Downtown Long Beach parking lot today.

The blaze didn’t hurt anyone, but it burned a car and a van that were parked side-by-side in the lot at Long Beach Boulevard and Third Street adjacent to the old Acres of Books building.

The flames broke out around 1 p.m. After they arrived at the scene, crews had the blaze out within a few minutes, Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Brian Fisk said.

One witness, Kris Taylor, said he saw an approximately 200-foot plume of black smoke from down the street as he was walking back to his office. Another witness said he could see flames from Pine Street.

“I just came out the post office and I heard booms. I don’t know if it was the gas tank or what,” said another witness, Sidney Winston. He said he saw the van’s owner attempt to get back into the vehicle but then run away when the fire started.

Firefighters pull out a charred mattress from a van that was on fire in Downtown Long Beach Wednesday afternoon on March 27, 2019 Photo by Valerie Osier.

Witnesses reported loud booms and pops that may have been from the tires exploding.

Witnesses said it looked like someone lived in the van. They said firefighters pulled a charred mattress out of the back of the van, spraying it with white foam.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire.

Firefighters put out the last of the flames from a van that was on fire in Downtown Long Beach Wednesday afternoon on March 27, 2019 Photo by Valerie Osier.


Police officers talk to the owner of the van that caught fire in Downtown Long Beach Wednesday afternoon, March 27, 2019. The fire also damaged the car parked next to it. Photo by Valerie Osier.


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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children.