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One hospitalized after gas siphoning incident in Tacoma went sideways

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 9, 2010 at 8:33 am |
September 9, 2010 8:33 am

A young woman was burned and another man was on the run Wednesday night after their attempt to siphon gas from a Salvation Army vehicle went awry.

Paramedics took the 20-year-old woman to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of her burns, Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.

A witness called Tacoma police shortly after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday after spotting two people trying to siphon gas from a Salvation Army van parked in a church parking lot at 1110 Puget Sound Ave. The witness walked over to the lot to get a better view of the man and woman and startled the suspects, Fulghum said.

The suspects looked toward the witness.

“Moments later, fire erupted,” Fulghum said.

The van, a nearby vehicle and the two suspects caught fire. The woman ran toward the witness, who tried to get her to stop, drop and roll. She didn’t and the witness used a garden hose to douse the flames, Fulghum said.

The male suspect was able to put his own flames out. He remained at the scene for a short time and talked to witnesses, then fled before Tacoma police officers arrived, Fulghum said.

Tacoma firefighters responded to the report of a car fire at the parking lot. Crews extinguished the rest of the fire. The Salvation Army van and a nearby vehicle were burned.

Paramedics took the woman to Harborview. A Tacoma police officer also went to the Seattle hospital but was unable to talk to the woman, Fulghum said. Her injuries were not considered life threatening.

The woman could face charges related to the gas theft and fire when she’s released from the hospital, Fulghum said.

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