Man Injured Using Gasoline to Burn Leaves in Tennessee

By Bruce Garner

Around 7:00 last night, Chattanooga (TN) firefighters were sent to the 2900 block of E. 45th Street to investigate a report of an explosion. Captain Donny McMillian with Engine 9 said that when crews arrived, they met a man who had been burning leaves in a ditch. The owner of the residence told firefighters that he used “a small amount of gasoline” to burn leaves in the ditch. He said the vapors ignited and it sounded like an explosion. Captain McMillian said paramedics with Hamilton County EMS examined the man and found second- and third-degree burns on his right arm. The victim was then transported to Erlanger Medical Center for treatment.

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Fire Chief Chris Adams says you should never, ever use gasoline to burn leaves, or anything else. “Gasoline is actually more dangerous than dynamite,” says Fire Chief Chris Adams. “Gasoline has invisible, explosive vapors that can ignite, and explode, from more than 12 feet away. It’s  extremely dangerous and should not be used for anything other than fuel for your car and outdoor equipment.” Facts vary from one source to another on this, but one gallon of gasoline is equivalent to several sticks of dynamite.

Bruce Garner is the Chattanooga (TN) Fire Department Public Information Director.



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