Exploding paint fuels van fire

Explosions shoot from van in Liverpool. / Photograph by Matt Mulcahy.

20 cases of spray paint exploded in the back of a utility van that caught fire Friday afternoon in the Village of Liverpool. The van was parked on 2nd Street, or Route 370, just before 3:30 p.m. as a work crew for Premier Utilities was digging across the street.

Corey Finster from Premier Utilities said, "We were digging a hole when one of the National Grid workers turned around and and noticed flames coming out of the truck."

The truck burned for 15 minutes as neighbors gathered to watch the spectacular scene. Several explosions shot out of the back of the van and carried more than twenty feet into the tree above. The van was parked in front of the Gleason Mansion , which is home to the Liverpool Village Museum and Historian's Office.

Traffic on the main thoroughfare was blocked as Liverpool firefighters arrived to put out the flames. The fire department consulted with the utility crew to determine whether the paints were oil or water based so they could decide on the best method for extinguishing the flames.

No one was hurt in the fire.