A California man on Wednesday suffered third-degree burns to the front half of his body after he used a lighter to melt a gasoline-filled jug, fire officials said.
The unintended immolation took place in a Target parking lot in Modesto, about 100 miles east of San Francisco. The man, who was not identified, had melted the mouth of the jug to make pouring gasoline into his car easier, his girlfriend told investigators.
The jug exploded into flames, setting the man and another vehicle on fire, The Sacramento Bee reported. Dustin Bruley, a supervisor of the Stanislaus Regional Fire Investigation Unit, told The Bee that the man was burned from his face to his feet and his shoes were melted.
“He ran from the car and several citizens assisted him to the ground and helped put out the fire,” Bruley said. A Target employee put out the car fire with a fire extinguisher, Fox 40 reported.
The man was airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center’s burn unit in Sacramento. Officials are reviewing surveillance footage.