“It’s obviously personal for us,” said Denver Fire Department Spokesman Lt. Phil Champagne.
A van assigned to the Department’s Arson Bureau was intentionally set on fire while on duty.
“It’s a really blatant act,” added Champagne.
Early Wednesday morning, the white van was parked in the 3900 Block of West Kentucky as a fire investigator followed up on two suspicious car fires in the area.
The investigator was inside a home talking to a witness when a third party notified him flames could be seen at the front of his department issued van.
So the first call to 911 was made by the investigator according to Champagne.
Engine crews quickly responded and put out the fire.
It appears some kind of accelerant was splashed on the front bumper says Champagne.
Flames quickly destroyed the van’s engine as well as its’ electrical system.
The 7-year -old vehicle is a total loss.
To replace it, Champagne said the Denver Fire Department will have to tap an emergency fund.
The investigator was working alone because his partner had called in sick.
Champagne says it is unclear whether a two man team would have prevented the arson.
The vehicle was unmarked, however, the type of equipment unloaded by the investigator would have been enough to tip off even a casual observer to the fact the vehicle was on official business, said Champagne.
He can’t remember when this has ever happened before.
“This is the first time … when someone has gone out and deliberately attacked a vehicle of ours and set it on fire,” said Champagne.
There are no suspects yet in the ongoing investigation.