An RV fire snarled traffic and closed northbound Highway 20 at Park Street on Thursday in Lebanon.
According to Lebanon Fire District Division Chief Jason Bolen, a husband and wife had pulled into the service area of Canaga Point S Tires, 1179 Park Street, for a scheduled oil change on their RV. As soon as the vehicle stopped inside of the bays, Point S employees noticed smoke billowing from the right front wheel well and engine compartment of the 30-foot 2004 Winnebago Sightseer.
One employee attempted to extinguish the fire with a nearby fire extinguisher, but the blaze had already outgrown the extinguisher’s capability. Meanwhile other employees helped the passengers from the vehicle and used a Point S service truck and chain to pull the RV out of the service bays and onto Park Street, approximately 20 feet from the building.
The fire quickly spread to the interior of the RV and a large column of black smoke and flames began to threaten the Canaga Point S structure. Lebanon firefighters arrived and deployed an attack line to knock down the body of the fire and simultaneously protect the tire store façade. Additional personnel arrived and assisted with the extinguishment of the remaining fire in the RV.
Upon investigation a large volume of dry organic material was found inside the engine compartment of the vehicle, indicative of animals nesting in the compartment. According to the RV owner, he had not used the RV in several years and had only driven it to the tire shop for an oil change in preparation of an upcoming trip. Fire investigators determined that the organic debris within the engine block was ignited by the heat of the running engine and quickly spread from the engine block into the passenger compartment.
Division Chief Bolen praised the quick thinking and actions of the Canaga Point S Tire employees for preventing the vehicle fire from spreading to the tire shop. “Had that RV remained in the service bays there is no doubt in my mind that we would have been battling a commercial structure fire on arrival instead of a vehicle fire. The Point S employees really saved the day.”
The Lebanon Fire District was assisted by the Lebanon Police Department on scene. Thirteen fire personnel responded to the alarm and were on scene for forty-eight minutes. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.
Source: Lebanon Fire District