PHOTO: Big Island Man Injured in Gas Pump Fire

June 17, 2019, 4:05 PM HST (Updated June 17, 2019, 4:22 PM)
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Patel’s Spirit Gas Station fire, June 17, 2019. PC: HPD

Hawaiʻi Island police report that at approximately 8:50 a.m. this morning, Monday, June 17, 2019, Kona Patrol Officers responded to Patel’s Spirit Gas Station in Captain Cook, for a reported vehicle on fire.

Upon arrival, Hawai‘i Fire Department firefighters were on-scene attempting to extinguish the fire on two vehicles parked in the gas pump area. HFD firefighters were eventually able to extinguish the fire completely from the vehicles and building.

Through investigation and speaking with witnesses, a spark possibly occurred while 58-year-old Douglas Kinnear was pumping gas into his friend’s vehicle. The spark possibly ignited the gas and caused a fire that eventually spread to another vehicle and the building/gas pump area.

Michael Graff, 28, who was inside of the vehicle that Kinnear was pumping gas into, was able to exit the vehicle with no injuries.

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Another patron, 66-year-old Shanon Van Dyke, was inside of her vehicle and parked next to the other vehicle, when she saw a flash from the other car and flames spreading from the nozzle to the gas pump. She stated that she jumped out of her vehicle, fled the area and sustained no injuries.

Kinnear sustained second-degree burns and was transported to O‘ahu (Straub) for further treatment.

The Hawai‘i Fire Department extinguished the blazing vehicles, pump roof and structure.

The fire was confined to the vehicles and exterior of structure.

Fire personnel remained on the scene to continue with the overhaul to locate and extinguish any smoldering hot spots.

A HFD fire inspector on the scene said the event that started the fire is impossible to determine; although static discharge is common and may have been the cause.

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