Report: Neighbor Watches Man Trigger Van Explosion

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DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines Police Department has confirmed that it is investigating a recent van explosion as arson.

Authorities responded to a vehicle fire in the 300 block of East Watrous Avenue about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. The van was parked outside the owner’s home, who was asleep until he was woken by “popping noises,” a police report says.

He told police he immediately looked outside and saw his van fully engulfed in flames.

Police interviewed the man’s neighbor, who said she saw a man walking around the van and throw a canister-like object at the vehicle. The police report says the neighbor watched as the man stood there, eyeing the vehicle until the van exploded.

He then fled on foot.

No injuries were reported, however, two nearby cars were damaged by the fire.

Nearby, officers found two, black rubber gloves in the middle of the road at Southeast 3rd Street and East Watrous Avenue.

This is an ongoing investigation. If you have any information about this case, please call the Des Moines Police Department.