SUV catches on fire; $1,000 in damage

About $1,000 in damage was sustained to a sport utility vehicle that caught on fire in a Columbus alley.

The vehicle owner, Marcus Collins, 18, said he had driven the 1998 Mercury Mountaineer just hours before the fire was reported by family members at 10:37 p.m. Tuesday behind 1630 Washington St., Columbus Fire Department spokesman Capt. Mike Wilson said.

Collins told firefighters that he had noticed mechanical issues with the vehicle since purchasing it three days earlier but was unsure of the exact problem, Wilson said.

Due to limited access through the alley, firefighters deployed more than 250 feet of fire hose to reach the burning vehicle, which sustained extensive damage in the engine area and front passenger compartment, Wilson said.

The cause of the fire is unknown, he said.