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Car fire on Central Whidbey sends man to hospital with burn

A man was sent to Whidbey General Hospital this week for minor burns he suffered while attempting to put out a car fire.

According to Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue Chief Ed Hartin, firefighters were dispatched to the corner of Highway 525 and Classic Road at 5:54 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 11, after a 911 caller reported that a 1996 Ford Ranger pickup truck was on fire.

“It was fully involved by the time they got there,” Hartin said.

The truck was parked next to a building but firefighters arrived quickly and were able to get control of the vehicle fire before it spread, Hartin said.

Although Hartin was not at the scene, he said a fire department report claims the driver of the truck was backing up when he accidentally drove over a sawed-off light post. It punctured the truck’s fuel tank and sparked the fire.

The man, whom neither Hartin nor an Island County Sheriff’s Office spokesman could identify, was trying to extinguish the fire himself when he was burned on his forearm. Hartin described the burn as “minor” and that the man was transported to Whidbey General Hospital for treatment.

The driver’s identity could not be attained from hospital officials either as it is protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, more commonly referred to as HIPAA.

Hartin said the vehicle was completely destroyed.

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