PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When Eddie Montano turned the corner from Southwest Yamhill onto 11th Avenue Monday morning he saw a car on fire and a man standing next to it.
“When I was walking down here I heard him yelling and it got my attention,” Montano told KOIN 6 News. “I came around here and the car door was open already and the steering wheel was just burning. I told him, ‘Your car is burning!’ and he said, ‘I don’t give an F.'”
He said he urged the man to try and put the fire out but the man stormed off and tried to fight with strangers.
“It started flaming more and more and started popping. No one was here yet, and he kept going down the street yelling at people,” Montano said.
PPB Chief Danielle Outlaw drove by and saw the car on fire on her way into work and called it in, officials said.
As Portland firefighters worked to put out the flames, officers were looking for the suspect. A tipster followed him to a nearby Starbucks and alerted police where to find him.
The man was taken into custody without incident.
Investigators said it appears he may have set his own car on fire. It’s also possible the man could be suffering from the effects of drugs or mental illness.
Fire officials continue to gather evidence to determine if the car spontaneously combusted or if it was set on fire.
For witness Eddie Montano, it was a morning to remember.
“First thing in the morning it was crazy, you know? Especially his own car, you know?”
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