Police arrest 2 for starting car fire in Branson Landing parking garage while stealing gas
BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - Police arrested two accused of starting a fire inside a car in the Branson Landing Parking garage Sunday. Police say the two were removing gas from the car when the fire happened.
Police believe they did it by drilling a hole in the gas tank. A 23-year-old male and a 19-year-old female, both from Springfield, were located and arrested. The two were then also tied to significant damages to one of the ball fields at Ball Parks of America, located at 1000 Pat Nash Dr, which occurred after the fire at the parking garage.
“We also had a prior incident where some attempts were made to steal gasoline from another parking structure in town so we don’t know if that’s tied in or not,” said Branson Fire Chief, Ted Martin.
The fire created challenges for firefighters. The location of the fire made it difficult for firefighters to access the scene. Crews used standpipes in the parking garage to put the fire out. Branson Fire Chief Ted Martin says visitors nearby reported a car explosion. He says the explosions were the car’s tires popping.
“The vehicle was fully involved and was obviously effecting the engine compartment, the tires, some noise with that when the tires popped there was also heavy black smoke coming off the structure,” Martin said.
It took firefighters just a few minutes to put out the fire. It took much longer to get the car out of the parking garage.
“With it being a low-parking garage deck we couldn’t just put it on a wrecker and get the vehicle out,” said Chief Martin. “They were able to get the car on the wrecker bed itself and then the firefighters cut the top of the car off to make it shallower for to safely exit the structure.”
Branson resident Jim Viebrock says he was watching t.v. when he thought he heard gunshots close by.
”We looked out the window and could see the flames coming out of the third floor of the parking garage,” Viebrock said.
Viebrock says he thought the flames were coming from a restaurant at first, but after a closer look he realized it was the parking garage.
The car belonged to a Branson Landing employee.
No one was injured.
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