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Ohio State employee’s car catches fire in parking garage, cause unknown

Ally Marotti / Copy chief

An Ohio State employee’s car caught fire just before 9:30 a.m. as she pulled into the parking garage on her way to work, and within an hour, it was completely burnt.

Susan Blakely, a human resources generalist who works in Campbell Hall at 1787 Neil Ave., said she drove over some debris near Summit Street on her way to work, but she’s not sure if that’s what caused her car to suddenly burst into flames.

”Just as I was coming in the garage, I thought I got behind a stinky vehicle, then as I was coming around a ramp, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s my vehicle,” Blakely said.

She made it to the third floor and got out of her tan Buick Park Avenue when she saw smoke coming out of the vents and called emergency services.

Lt. Doug Mack of the Columbus Division of Fire said they received the call at 9:29 a.m.

”What we had was an inferno on the third floor,” Mack said. “Car’s burnt up, total loss.”

Mack said with the help of standpipe hookups, which most OSU buildings have, they were able to extinguish the fire quickly. Standpipe hookups allowed the fire department to hook up a hose and transport the water quickly to the third floor.

Blakely wondered why there were no sprinklers in the garage, but said she was thankful the fire department acted so quickly.

”It could’ve been so much worse. I’m just so thankful. Praise God,” she said. “The fire people were able to get here quickly, nobody else got hurt and nobody else’s property was damaged.”

As of about 11 a.m. Tuesday, no one knew what caused the Buick to burst into flames.

“Don’t know (what caused the fire), mechanical issues probably,” said Bob Armstrong, director of OSU’s Emergency Management and Fire Prevention. “Right now it’s undetermined and that’s where it stands.”

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