Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Freak accidents claim Corvallis business and man's life - KEZI TV

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Spontaneous combustion could be to blame for a fire at a Corvallis restaurant, and it may have second-handedly led to the death of a nearby business owner.

"Well, it's hard to explain something like this," said Brian Vinson, owner of Sharon's Cafe.

Vinson bought Sharon's Cafe in December, reopening it just weeks after previous owners were forced to close it down due to health issues.

"December 18th was our official opening day," Vinson said.

Just weeks later, they've been forced to close once again.

"My sister called me last night and told me, and I just couldn't believe it," Vinson said. "But, I headed here and sure enough."

However, the craziest thing about this fire isn't that it happened just weeks after reopening.

"Unofficially of course, because the Fire Marshals' report won't be finished until the end of the month," Vinson said. "He basically said it was a no-fault accident that was caused by some towels that were laundered and put in a laundry basket and set on a counter, and they spontaneously combusted."

It gets stranger, and more tragic, from there.

Not long after that fire started, shopping center employees said Grant Converse, the owner of Corvallis Furniture, got a call that the shopping center was on fire.

Those employees said he was driving, and when he went to turn around, his truck wouldn't stop.

Police said his wife and daughter jumped out of the truck and made it out okay.

But when Converse jumped from the truck, he was seriously injured.

Police said the crash is still under investigation.

People close to the family told KEZI, Converse died just before noon on Tuesday.

We reached out to the family, but have not yet heard back from them. If you'd like to help, you can reach out to the family through their business for the time being.

Vinson didn't want to talk about what happened to Converse, but his family and employees feel responsible for what happened to him.

Vinson said aside from the loss of a friend and the damage to his business, his biggest concern is his employees.

"I have a lot of employees that don't have a job now," Vinson said. "That's all I'm concerned about at this point."

Vinson said he doesn't know when Sharon's will reopen, but it could be a few months.

In the meantime, you can follow their Facebook page to stay updated on their progress.

Vinson said right now, he doesn't know how the community can help, but you can reach out to them through their Facebook page to offer assistance.


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