Thieves trying to steal gas start fire at U-Haul facility



A fire at a Renton U-Haul facility caused more than $100,000 in damage over Thanksgiving weekend and fire officials are calling what happened "suspicious."

Explore>> Read more trending news

As of Saturday night, there was still clear evidence of how the thieves got in: A large hole that the suspects cut into the fence leads straight into the U-Haul parking lot.

“Honestly, it's hard to believe,” said Rodger Lancaster, an employee.

Employees said five trucks had to be towed away because of the damage.

“Horrible, horrible. It’s just horrible,” said Eva Turner, another employee.

Employees said the suspect - or suspects - tried to steal gas out of moving trucks.

“They drilled the hole into the tank to drain it and the spark just nailed it,” Turner said.

“The fumes in the gas tank ignited and went poof,” Lancaster said.

The thieves got in early Saturday, just after 3 a.m.

“It’s sad because it's the holiday season,” Lancaster said. “It's sad people have to do that. It's sad. It hurts my heart. … There’s a lot of damage.”

Still, employees were thankful no one got hurt and that the fire wasn't worse.

“It could've done a whole domino effect all the way down the line,” Lancaster said.

Fire crews were able to knock down the flames before they spread to nearby buildings. Any suspects got away from the scene before first responders arrived.

About the Author