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Orange County Digest

Garden Grove : Worker at Auto Paint Shop Burned in Fire

August 16, 1986

An employee of an automobile paint shop was burned Friday afternoon when fumes from a lacquer thinner apparently built up in a spray-paint booth and ignited, Garden Grove fire officials said.

Rudy Telles, 35, suffered burns to his hands, arms and face when he entered the spray booth to move a car just as the fumes ignited, according to the fire officials. A spokeswoman for UCI Medical Center said Telles was in stable condition in the hospital's burn center.

The fire occurred just before 4 p.m. at Glo Auto Painting in the 7600 block of Garden Grove Boulevard, said Capt. Paul Christman. Although the cause is under investigation, it appears that an employee had been cleaning the floor of a spray booth with a lacquer thinner, and a large quantity of the liquid was on the ground, he said.

Fumes from the thinner built up inside the enclosed booth and apparently ignited when they came in contact with the booth's heater, he said.

The blaze caused $5,000 in damage to the structure and $40,000 to contents, including a Corvette inside the booth, he said.

Three fire engines, two fire trucks, one paramedic unit and 19 firefighters were at the scene, led by Battalion Chief Ted Just. The Stanton Fire Department assisted in fighting the blaze.

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