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Fires In D.C. Ambulances Believed To Be Accidental

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Ambulance 27 caught fire during an emergency call in Southeast D.C.
Photo via International Association of Firefighters Local 36
Ambulance 27 caught fire during an emergency call in Southeast D.C.

Internal reports show that engine fires in two District of Columbia fire department ambulances were probably caused by malfunctions or poorly done repairs. The reports were completed before a deputy mayor ordered police to investigate the fires.

Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Paul Quander ordered the police investigation to ensure that "nothing untoward" happened to cause the fires, which took place Aug. 13.

According to the Washington Post, which obtained copies of the report, union officials were angered by Quander's statement, which they took as an accusation that firefighters had sabotaged the vehicles. It was the latest example of strained relations between labor and management in the fire department.

City officials say the criminal probe is expected to take some time and that the internal reports don't rule out the possibility of tampering.

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