Gas stations typically post signs warning customers not to light cigarettes while using the gas pumps, but if those signs don’t convince you to refrain from doing so, then this story will.
A man pumping gas at a Riverdale, Maryland gas station died on Sunday, May 24, after lighting a cigarette too close to the gas pumps.
According to reports from the Washington Post and CBS News, the flame from the man’s lighter caused the gasoline fumes at the pump to ignite.
ABC News has reported that a witness at the Shell gasoline station at East West Highway and Kenilworth Ave. saw the flames spread toward the victim, and the witness “acted quickly” to extinguish the flames before the local fire department arrived.
The man was transported immediately to the closest hospital and was in critical condition with several severe burns, but he died while receiving medical attention at the hospital.
Authorities have declined to release the man’s identity, but they have stated that he was a senior citizen, at least 60 years of age.
Many people are aware that cigarettes, when discarded improperly, often cause house and building fires and are one of the leading causes of death; often, people aren’t aware that gasoline fumes can be just as flammable as the gasoline itself.
The case is currently under investigation by local police and fire departments, according to county fire department spokesman Mark Brady.