Parking garage

Police arrest 2 people for starting a fire in Branson Landing parking lot while stealing gasoline

BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) – Police arrested two people on Sunday on charges of starting a fire inside a car in the Branson Landing parking garage. Police said the two were removing gas from the car when the fire broke out.

Police believe they did so by drilling a hole in the gas tank. A 23-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman, both from Springfield, were located and arrested. The two were then also linked to extensive damage to one of Ball Parks of America’s ball fields, located at 1000 Pat Nash Dr, which occurred after the parking lot fire.

“We also had an earlier incident where attempts were made to steal gasoline from another parking lot in town, so we don’t know if this is related or not,” the Branson fire chief said, Ted Martin.

The fire caused problems for the firefighters. The location of the fire made it difficult for firefighters to access the scene. Crews used fire hydrants in the parking garage to put out the fire. Branson Fire Chief Ted Martin said visitors nearby had reported a car explosion. He says the explosions were the exploding car tires.

“The vehicle was fully involved and obviously was affecting the engine compartment, the tires, a bit of noise with that when the tires burst, there was also a thick black smoke coming out of the structure,” said Martin.

It only took a few minutes for the firefighters to extinguish the blaze. It took a lot longer to get the car out of the parking lot.

“Because it’s a low-profile garage platform, we couldn’t just put it on a tow truck and get the vehicle out,” Chief Martin said. “They were able to put the car on the bed of the tow truck itself, then the fire department cut off the top of the car to make it shallower to safely exit the structure.”

Jim Viebrock, a Branson resident, said he was watching television when he thought he heard gunshots nearby.

“We looked out the window and could see the flames coming out of the third floor of the parking lot,” Viebrock said.

Viebrock says he thought the flames were coming from a restaurant at first, but after taking a closer look he realized it was the parking lot.

The car belonged to a Branson Landing employee.

No one was hurt.

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