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Ambulance Catches Fire

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. -- Firefighters responded to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital on Tuesday morning after an ambulance caught fire in the hospital's parking lot.

No one was injured and only the ambulance was reported as damaged in the incident, hospital staff said.

The fire ignited after a paramedic started the ambulance for a morning shift, said Shawn Dewers, chief operating officer for the hospital. The paramedic initially attempted to put out the flames with a fire extinguisher, but called for help shortly after.

A statement released by the hospital said the fire is suspected to have been caused by an electrical problem while the engine was being started.

Greg Atkinson, a neighbor who lives near the hospital, said residents heard a loud bang and ran outside to look. A large cloud of black smoke was seen coming from the parking lot.

"It sounded like a sonic boom," he said.

Dewers said the loud noise was likely from an oxygen tank bursting during the fire. An estimate of the damage to the van, owned by Pacific Ambulance, was not immediately available.

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