PORTLAND – A carpet-cleaning company’s van caught fire early Friday evening, sending a thick cloud of acrid-smelling smoke wafting over downtown.

The fire in the Octagon Cleaning and Restoration Co. van started around 6 p.m.

Jason Nelson said he had just finished running lines for his equipment from the van to an office on the fourth floor of a Middle Street building and had been cleaning the carpet for about 15 minutes when his equipment failed.

He looked out and saw smoke coming from the van and went down a few steps until he saw flames. He then went back to the office and had another cleaning company employee call 911.

Nelson said the machinery is powered by a separate gasoline engine inside the van. He said he hadn’t had any recent problems with the van or the cleaning-equipment engine.

Within a few minutes, firefighters extinguished the fire in the van, which was parked in a lot behind the office building. The lot is off Exchange Street, between Temple and Middle Streets and next to the city’s Temple Street parking garage.

No one was injured in the fire. The van appeared to be a total loss.