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Van Catches Fire Near Lincoln Center

By Ben Fractenberg | January 6, 2011 5:07pm | Updated on January 7, 2011 6:16am

By Ben Fractenberg

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

UPPER WEST SIDE — A van was gutted by flames across from Lincoln Center on Thursday afternoon.

The driver, an electrician, said he had just turned onto Broadway from 63rd Street about 4 p.m. when smoke started coming from the dashboard.

"All of a sudden I smelled smoke," said the driver Gill Wilson, 47. "I got out and, all of a sudden, I saw flames."

By the time the fire department arrived, just minutes later, the smoke had become "black and creamy" and the entire van was engulfed in flames, a witness said.

"It was like watching a bad movie," said Lindsay, who didn't want to give her last name, a hostess at Bar Boulud.

Tools, electrical equipment and burned wires were tossed onto the street as the FDNY put out the blaze.

It wasn't immediately clear what started the fire, a FDNY spokesman said.