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Man sets car and gas pump on fire trying to kill a spider

An unidentified Detroit, Michigan man stopped at the Mobil Gas station in Center Line the other day to fill up his car’s gas tank. Being deathly afraid of spiders, when he saw one on the car’s gas tank, he tried to kill it using a cigarette lighter.

Surveillance video from the Mobil station shows the car and gas pump quickly being engulfed in flames. Luckily, the man had the presence of mind to grab a fire extinguisher nearby and put out the flames, but not before the gas pump was totally destroyed.

Gas station employee Susan Adams told Fox 2 Detroit, “The man didn’t have a cigarette, he didn’t have anything at all. All of a sudden I look out and I see flames.”

What did Adams do when she saw the flames? She calmly and quickly hit the gas automatic stop button and called the Center Line Fire Department, thereby putting a halt to what could have been an even worse fire, reports The Daily Mail.

The motorist told authorities that while pumping gas, he spotted a spider on his gas tank, and pulled out his lighter to get rid of it, said the gas station employee, claiming he was “deathly afraid” of spiders. The gas station says the man’s car was slightly damaged in the fire, but believe it or not, he returned the next day for a fill-up.

Why they say “No open flame allowed”
With the convenience of self-serve gas stations, the public sometimes gets a bit casual while refilling their cars, and often forgets that gasoline is volatile and dangerous. Shell Canada has a very informative website that explains the proper care needed by consumers when pumping gas.

One important thing the site mentions is that the liquid gas is not what ignites, but the vapors given off by the gasoline. That is why no open flames of any kind are allowed around a gas pump. Shell Canada says: “All it takes to create a violent explosion is fuel vapours, enough oxygen, and a source of ignition — like a spark from a cigarette, a hot exhaust pipe, faulty wiring, or a wisp of vapour reaching the open flame of a pilot light or a match.”

Written By

Karen Graham is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for environmental news. Karen's view of what is happening in our world is colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in man's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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