Fueling station ignites

A fueling station caught fire Sunday night after it was knocked over by a truck at the Short Stop gas station.

A Ford F150 pickup turned into the gas station at the intersection of Poppy Lane and Kalifornsky Beach Road around 9:30 p.m. 

Instead of stopping just short of the fueling station, the truck slid into a support beam and then the fueling station, said Capt. Lesley Quelland, from Central Emergency Services. The pump was knocked over, and the base and surrounding  area caught on fire, Quelland said.

No one was injured, and employees were able to direct the vehicle away from the fire, shut the gas off and call 911.

“The employees here just did a really good job,” she said.

Nick Van Bruggen was working the register at Short Stop when the collision, and resulting fire, happened.

“I saw it go down,” he said.

He watched as the pickup “hit the ice wrong,” and then hit the fueling station, he said. Then it caught on fire.

“There was flame coming from the base of the pump area,” Quelland said.

Ron Walker, another employee, turned the gas off, Van Bruggen said.

Quelland said Walker was also responsible for making sure the people in the vehicle were not injured, and directing the truck out of the fire area.

“Accolades to Ron,” Quelland said.

Van Bruggen said the fire grew as it burned. He was worried it would spread.

“It was on fire for a good seven to 10 minutes, until the fire department got here,” Van Bruggen said.

Once CES was on scene, the fire was out in two minutes, Quelland said.

CES then spent another 10 minutes working at the scene. They also used a thermal imaging camera to make sure the fire was out and there weren’t any other hot spots, she said.

Owner Roseann Jackson said the Short Stop will be open for business as usual Monday morning. Gas sales will have to wait until everything is verified as safe to operate again, she said.

Quelland said electrical and fuel to the downed pump have to be isolated before gas can be sold at the remaining pumps.

“There’s no damage to the other pumps,” she said.

The driver’s name was not immediately available.

 Molly Dischner can be reached at molly.dischner@peninsulaclarion.com.

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