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Police: Van full of ammunition failed to put out garbage fire

By Ben Hooper

LIBERTY, Mo., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Authorities in Missouri said a man erred when he attempted to extinguish his garbage fire by driving over it with a van full of live ammunition.

The Clay County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post a deputy investigating smoke in a field south of Liberty discovered a van "fully engulfed in flames."

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The deputy summoned firefighters, but the responders moved to a safe distance when they discovered ammunition inside the vehicle was discharging.

The van's owner, who was found watching the blaze from a distance, told the deputy he had been burning garbage in the field and decided to try to put the flames out with his van when the fire grew out of control.

The owner said the tires of the van caught fire and he retreated to a safe distance because his van was loaded with firearms ammunition.

Firefighters were eventually able to extinguish the fire.

Sheriff's spokesman Jon Bazzano said the owner was not immediately cited and he declined to file a report for a possible insurance claim.

"It seems like he's just going to have to take a loss on that vehicle because I don't think they're going to cover it," Bazzano told the Kansas City Star.

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