On Wednesday, May 12, Citrus County Fire Rescue responded to an 911 call about a vehicle on fire outside a Citgo gas station in Homosassa, Florida. The vehicle in question was a Hummer H2 that nearly burned to the ground after a man attempted to haul four five-gallon gasoline containers.
In a kind of panic buying because of the lack of fuel on the east coast, the inmate managed to escape with non-life-threatening injuries. The injured person refused medical treatment against the EMT council, according to the Citrus County Chronicle. The call reporting a burning vehicle near a Texaco Food Mart on South Alabama Avenue and West Grover Cleveland Boulevard came in at 10:52 a.m. Citrus County Fire Rescue arrived at 10:59 a.m. and cleared the entangled H2 at 11:09 a.m.
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Based on photos released by Citrus County Fire Rescue, the lobster didn’t travel too far before it caught fire. How the fire started in the first place is unknown. What we can say is that the gas-filled containers that ultimately melted in the lobster’s hold certainly had something to do with it. Although a Reddit post that has since gone viral claims the driver lit a cigarette, the Florida State Fire Marshal is conducting an investigation and will confirm the cause.
The widespread news of gasoline shortages has caused people to panic and line up a la Black Friday sale on the streets around gas stations. The fear of running out of gas set in and the crowd went wild. Many of these people have filled up trash cans, storage bins, plastic bags, and other unsafe containers. Due to the high demand and limited supply, the prices on the pump have skyrocketed.
As most of you know by now, a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline resulted in a shutdown over the weekend. However, there was no need to stock up on gasoline at home, as several panic buyers did with toilet paper and hand sanitizer during the pandemic. The Colonial Pipeline began restoring the system within days of the gas pipeline being shut down. The only real problem was people walking into stations and creating bottlenecks on site before those stations could be replenished.
In addition, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission posted a message on Twitter urging panic buyers not to use plastic bags for gasoline. There are dozens of photos shared online showing people shamelessly filling unimaginable objects and improper containers with fuel. Let’s remember that gasoline – and its fumes – are extremely flammable.
The Colonial Pipeline extends from Texas to New Jersey and does not cross the state of Florida. That alone makes this case of gasoline in Florida downright silly and funny. No offense to the H2 driver, but maybe it wasn’t a good idea after all. In this situation I come across a quote from the author and scholar Dr. Amit Abraham said, “Common sense has become an uncommon virtue.”
Images via Citrus County Fire Rescue / YouTube.