Another Gas Pump Fire in Waynesville,
NC injures 12-year old Girl
By: Elizabeth Nelson
another fire occurred due to static electricity at a gas pump on
Wednesday, March 28, 2001. A 12 year old girl from Sylva, NC was
removing the gas nozzle from a car at the above pictured Enmark
gas station when she received second and possibly third degree burns
on her left leg. Her hands are also badly burned, according to Firefighters.
Even though Firefighters call this
a bizarre accident, the ESD Journal has reported on gas pump fires
numerous times. The fires are more frequent than some people believe,
but they are linked together by officials and given coverage.
The accident happened early Wednesday
morning outside of Ashville, NC. The young girl exited the car and
went to pull the nozzle from the tank when she saw a spark. She
jumped back and her mother exited the car and removed the nozzle
from the car. The gas the spilled from the nozzle burnt the 12 year
old girl's legs and hands. Approximately $20.00 in gas had been
pumped into the 1998 Isuzu Trooper.
Mrs. Radcliffe begin pumping gas and
then locked the nozzle to continue filling up the SUV and then entered
her car to write a check for the gas. She was still in the car when
her daughter exited the car and removed the nozzle from the tank.
Right as she went to remove the nozzle from the vehicle, a static
electricity spark ignited a cloud of fumes. The girl took a step
back from the gas pump and the gas tank door, which had gasoline
on it, caught on fire. Mrs. Radcliffe exited the car to help her
daughter and removed the nozzle from the tank. Since the nozzle
was on the locked on position, gas splashed onto the girls jeans.
This hot gas created the burns on the girls legs.
An Enmark station attendant shut the
pump off with an emergency switch. This may have saved the girl
from worse burns. The child was then taken to Haywood Regional Medical
Center in Cylde, where she is still recovering.
Waynesville Fire Chief Bill Fowler
believes that the accident may have been caused by static electricity
that developed on the girl's clothing (a sweater and jacket) or
from her long hair.
To read more about Gas Pump Fires,