A 24 year young logger was burned on his upper body Monday night when his cigarette lighter ignited gas fumes drifting up from a nozzle pumping gas into a friend’s pickup at Third and Harney.
The friend (driver) had just placed the nozzle into the pickup’s gas tube – pulled and locked the trigger. The driver went to the other side when he suddenly saw a bright flash, turned around, and saw his his friend stumbling around, engulfed in flame. The driver ran around the back end of the truck, grabbed his friend’s shirt and ripped it off his body and slapped down the rest of the flames still smoldering on him.
A couple driving by in a car saw what happened and quickly called 9-1-1.
Firefighters were on scene within minutes. They used a fire extinguisher to ensure the fire was dead out. The victim was loaded aboard an ambulance and taken to PCH for treatment of burns to his right arm, both hands, face and singed hair.
It didn’t take firefighters long to figure out what happened. There, on the ground, was an unburned cigarette with a lighter nearby.
Driver of the pickup said his friend smokes.
Firefighters said you never smoke around gas stations or any open gas source. The gas station is a self-serve card-activated variety where you pump your own gas there at 3rd and Harney.