Fowler Associates Labs



Static Fire Stories Articles & Technical Papers Current News

Static Electricity Fire Kills Pennsylvania Man at Gas Station

Steve Fowler Fowler Associates

Friday March 5, 2010 In the early morning last Friday a car fire most likely ignited by static electricity claimed the life of 19-year-old Luther David Byers ( David), according to Cumberland County Coroner Todd C. Eckenrode. Byers died while putting gas in a 2009 Toyota Yaris. The fire occurred at approximately 2:45 a.m. Friday at the BP Gas Station at the corner of St. John's and Simpson Ferry roads. This is the second death reported to us in just a few months: See our article on a death in Maryland in December 2009


Please visit the following links on this fire for more details and videos:


Surveillance video from the gas station showed the car entering the gas station lot and pulling up to the pumps. The BP Station was closed, but the pumps were left on for credit and debit card purchases.

The gas station was unmanned at the time. David was alone as he refuled his car.

This type of gas station allows customers to use their credit card at all hours regardless of where an attendant is present or not.

NFPA 30A allows for such gas stations under specific conditions. However, more and more lately, convience stores have begun to just leave the pumps on so they can be used at all hours. This was not intended by the codes. In fact this is a dangerous practice. As far back as 1957 fire codes when confronted by the spreading self service station fad, made it clear that self service was to be only allowed where the refueling was monitored by a store employee. This practice of just leaving the pumps on at night needs review by local and national regulators.


How to avoid this tragedy?
That is more simple than you can imagine. Please read some of our articles from past incidents on our Fire Stories Page:

Static Fires Stories

Static Smart at the Pump






The ESD Journal is not affiliated with any trade organization, Association or Society

ESD Journal & are Trademarks of Fowler Associates, Inc. - All Rights Reserved

The content & Look of the ESD Journal & are Copyrighted by Fowler Associates, Inc. - All Rights Reserved Copyright 2011

The YouTube name and logo are copyright of YouTube, LLC.