Static Electricity cause of Missouri refueling fire
Man refilling portable containers that rested in truck's bed
Murphy's reaction to the blaze was to withdraw the filling hose. He then turned his attention to the fire burning in his truck's bed. Believing the best action would be to remove the burning fuel container, Mr. Murphy slid the flaming container toward the rear of the truck, then lowered the tailgate. As the metal container was pulled toward the rear, it evidently became caught on the tailgate and tipped over. Gasoline then spilled and burned fiercely. While flames engulfed the truck's left side and bed, Mr. Murphy was able to escape without injury.
St Joseph fire fighters stationed across the street observed the fire develop and immediately responded, arriving and extinguishing flames in just over 2 minutes from the fire's start. The Chevrolet pick-up truck received extensive damage and the dispenser being used was scorched to the point of requiring repair. Amazingly this incident was captured on security video. Please watch this frightening episode before deciding to refill containers in your vehicle.
St. Joseph Fire
Department Inspector Randy DeShon attributes the fire's ignition to
static electrical discharge. DeShon indicated that static charge was
generated by gasoline flowing through the nozzle and pipes.
A Husky nozzle was attached to a Gibarco dispenser according to Inspector DeShon. Records from the National Weather Service indicate humidity was approximately 53% when this incident occurred.
Murphy realizes the dangers associated with gasoline. Murphy said
that he now understands the need to remove portable fuel containers
from vehicles, and to assure that the containers are placed on pavement
before filling them with gasoline. Mr. Murphy said that he later observed
warning signs on the fuel island's support post and smaller warnings
on the dispenser's display.
St. Joseph Fire
Department issued the following recommendations regarding pumping
Portable fuel containers have been claimed as one of the leading causes of static- caused fires.
Gasoline fumes are volatile! Static electricity can create a spark that could cause a fire if it's near gasoline fumes.
Every time you pump gasoline, a charge of electricity builds up on gasoline as it flows through a pipe or hose and this charge takes several seconds to several minutes to dissipate after the gasoline has reached the tank or container.
Do you know how
to fill your vehicle or a portable fuel container safely?
1. Turn off your