San Diego

2 Cars Burst into Flames After Driver Rams into Gas Station in Carmel Mountain Ranch

A car rammed into a gas pump and burst into flames that spread to another car in Carmel Mountain Ranch Friday, confirmed San Diego Fire-Rescue.

SDFD crews were called to the gas station when two cars burst into flames. 

"A lady got out of the way, fortunately," said Dave Rakers, who witnessed the fire. "Then I went over and helped this man get out of his car and get away from the flames."

The car fire started just before 2 p.m. at the Chevron on Rancho Carmel Drive, according to SDFD officials.

"It was not too many people and nobody got hurt," said Rakers. "So that's a good thing."

The driver said his foot slipped from the brake to the gas pedal accidentally, causing him to ram into the pump.

When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting all the way up the canopy with dangerous explosions. There was an excessive amount of smoke, said SDFD Fire Captain Jared Cheselske.

Five crews from SDFD and the Poway Fire Department were called to the scene. Cheselske said they requested an additional five crews that were canceled en route.

Crews worked hard to quickly put the fire out, said Cheselske. There were no injuries in the fire. All the safety mechanisms worked properly after the fuel pump caught fire, which helped crews to extinguish the flames quickly.

It remains unclear if the gas station will be able to reopen Friday or not. The gas line was not damaged by the flames, according to contractors who examined the pump.

Businesses in the immediate area surrounding the fire were evacuated. Hazmat was also requested.

The man driving the car appears to have been in his 70s. He was carrying a cane and wearing a U.S. Air Force cap. No other information was immediately available.

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