Police: Man tried to douse fire with beer, death believed to be accidental

June 17, 2011

GRAND JUNCTION — Police in Grand Junction believe a vehicle fire that led to the discovery of a body was an accident.

The body of 48-year-old David F. Johnson was found inside a burning camper on Tuesday after police received reports of a vehicle fire.

Police spokeswoman Kate Porras said Friday witnesses saw Johnson with an object on fire outside of his truck. It appeared he was trying to put the fire out by dousing it in beer.

Porras said shortly after, there was a fire in the truck's camper, and police don't know if the blaze outside the camper and the one inside are connected.

Porras said the fire destroyed any evidence that may pinpoint the cause of the fire, but police believe it was accident.

The coroner's office says Johnson died of smoke and soot inhalation.

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