Man drives burning car into gas station, amazingly nobody dies

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In Hamilton County, Tennessee, a gentleman noticed that his Cadillac was smoking so he pulled into a gas station. He lifted the hood to reveal flames on the engine which in turn caught the adjacent gas pump on fire. Fortunately, the man, and his five children, moved quickly away from the burning vehicle and a station employee hit the "emergency stop" button to block gas and electricity from reaching the pump. "Car burns next to gas pump, 5 children get out safely" (Times Free Press)


  1. I could see pulling into a parking spot away from a pump, but parking a smoking car right next to a pump looks like a failed effort at a Darwin award.

  2. While some people don’t like the new Disqus format, I really like I can just “Like” what someone else said instead of having to post a reply or something about it.

    Not going to say that again – cause OldBrownSquirrel said exactly what I was going to say.

    1. While some people don’t like the new Disqus format, I really like I can just “Like” a comment about somebody “Liking” what someone else said instead of having to post a reply or something about it.

  3. Actually, setting the exterior of your car/truck on fire is merely the next step in hyper-masculinized after-market automotive accessorization, either used in conjunction with, or in place of traditional things like over-sized tires, big chrome pipes, etc.

    This was merely a failed first test.

  4. I saw the exact same thing happen in Sacramento a few years ago, but it was an RV that was on fire. It pulled into a Chevron station smoking, and shortly the whole bus was on fire, parked right next to the pumps. It burned down part of the roof over the pumps, but other that that and the total loss of the RV, nothing else was damaged. I wonder if this happens more frequently than we may realize.

  5. I know this article (and the comments therein) are intended to be facetious, but there is very little fuel contained within the pump itself. The likelihood of a Hollywood-style explosion is low. The man likely equated “gas station” with “service station” and thought maybe he needed some essential fluid of some kind. Many gas stations these days carry the basics at least.

  6. Not sure what people expect to happen. The world is much safer then what you see in movies full of explosions.

  7. Hmm, sadly similar thing happened to me when I worked at such a location.  Guy pulls in, parks by a pump rather than the myriad empty spaces near the building, walks in, asks for a fire extinguisher.  The cashier then looks around for ME (in the cooler, stocking beer) to ask where said extinguisher is.  I give him the location of 3 or 4, and ask why.  “Oh, there’s a burning car by a gas pump.”  Why don’t you break the glass on the extinguishers by the pumps, and use that?  “Well, that costs money, to fix the glass.”

    As for the big extinguishers in the sky, many of those use particulate dispersant, and are not only not entirely safe to be under, but require a LOT of time and money to clean up, from upwards of 0.25 miles away.  So, the localities often prefer if gas stations try just about anything else first…

    Still.  Utterly amazing how many people think that not only is a gas station a good place to bring your burning car (which, given the number of fire extinguishers usually on hand, isn’t that off), but that right next to the gas pump is the best place to put it (which is a really bad idea no matter what).

    1. My friend is a manager in the gas station industry. I’ve watched my fair share of puzzling transactions.

      But your post makes no sense. You’ve got extinguishers, but the cashier is not aware of their location and/or is not aware of your store’s emergency procedures? “Big extinguishers in the sky?” What??

      Do you mean to say you have fire suppression systems in place or are you referring to emergency services?

      Are you aware that gas stations in a large US city are as plentiful as pubs in England? Perhaps when someone sees smoke emanating from their vehicle, the closest and only place they can pull over is a gas station?

  8. Smoke from a car doesn’t always mean fire. It can mean overheating (i.e. water vapor) and I bet a lot of people can’t tell the difference. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to pull into a service station when something’s wrong with your car.

  9. He may have driven a flaming car into a gas station, but thank goodness he didn’t pull out a cellphone.

  10. Yes, I mean the cashier (and even the manager at the time) were unaware that there were multiple extinguishers all over the place (one right under the register, for that matter).  Which, given the rapid turnover at such locations is not entirely surprising, though it is unfortunate.

    And by ‘big extinguishers in the sky’ I mean the fire suppression systems often built into the overhanging ceilingy bits above the gas pumps. 

    Finally, there’s a big difference between pulling into the lot of a gas station and pulling up right next to a gas pump.  There is ALWAYS a better place than right next to a gas pump to park a flaming car.  The side of the road would very much be among these better places, if one is that desperate.

    1. Again, the pumps contain very little fuel and what fuel they do contain is difficult to ignite. As the Mythbusters proved, gasoline is troublesome to ignite.

      My friend works for a highly regarded petro-chemical company & I work for a high-ranking IT company; ignorance of even the most basic safety protocol is unlikely. Even factoring in the turnover, does your company not offer a basic safety training course?

      I call shenanigans on your claims.

      1. I’m going to have to say your shenanigans are most likely bogus in this case.

        In my storied employment history, prior to my own work for a high ranking tech company, I have worked at more than a few convenience store and fast food restaurants. I can personally verify that there is zero *fire* safety instruction at the majority of those (so far as: here is the fire extinguishers). In fact there is little training going on regarding the very large hot devices in use (such as gas stoves) except for: these are the exact steps you take to crank out as much product as possible.

        The turnaround in these types of jobs makes the idea of formal safety training laughable. In fact the sum total of the training at these kinds of places typically consists of the emergency instructions on a highly crowded bulletin board of other items we are legally required to display. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be formal training of safety protocols, I’m saying it usually doesn’t happen for jobs like cashier and fry cook.

  11. Over the years we had a couple of fires around my parents place. Pooling fuel in an aluminum boat one time, and failed insulation in a car electrical system the other time. On both occasions we had fire extinguishers handy so we didn’t have to pull into a petrol station…

    Maybe this is a good gift idea for Christmas. Cheap fire extinguishers for all. I have a one shot unit in the back of my van. Its a little thing with (I think) compressed nitrogen and dry powder. We have a similar one in the kitchen.

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