In Maryland, a man set the interior of his car ablaze after using hand sanitizer while smoking a cigarette. Luckily, he was able to make it out of the car before it was completely engulfed in flames.
Reports say the man did sustain injuries of first and second degree burns on his hands and inner thighs.
Video footage from a helicopter showed dark smoke billowing from the car. Eventually you see firefighters hosing down the car, and copious amounts of steam flying over the parking lot, finally extinguishing the flames.
ICYMI (~530p) vehicle fire at Federal Plaza, 12200blk Rockville Pike, near Trader Joe’s & Silver Diner, @mcfrs PE72… https://t.co/QLBT2svvOu— Pete Piringer (@Pete Piringer) 1620949404.0
A spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service tweeted images of the aftermath with the caption:
"Rockville, MD, hand sanitizer & lighted cigarette start fire in an occupied car, Driver was able to escape the vehicle while onlookers called 911."
(5/13) Rockville, MD, hand sanitizer & lighted cigarette start fire in an occupied car, Driver was able to escape t… https://t.co/wH0zMKrYrd— Pete Piringer (@Pete Piringer) 1620990595.0
They also explained the cost of the damages. Luckily no other cars were close enough to the flames.
"Damage to the 2000 Toyota Camry was extensive, estimated to be in excess of $2K, there was little or no collateral damage to nearby vehicles."
More... (5/13) Federal Plaza, Rockville Pike, @mcfrs Fire Investigators say after shopping & in a car a man filled… https://t.co/3KOY6tNyZ4— Pete Piringer (@Pete Piringer) 1620964060.0
They explained he had used "copious amounts of hand sanitizer" which lead to embers of his lit cigarette falling onto his hands and clothing, igniting the alcohol in the sanitizer.
Because the car was not well-ventilated, it caused a heightened reaction between the embers and sanitizer.
"Driver using hand sanitizer & smoking a cigarette, which is a bad combo in unventilated area like a car."
(5/13 ~530p) Rockville Pike, Federal Plaza shopping Center, vehicle fire; Cause, Driver using hand sanitizer & smok… https://t.co/IIZ3M34qQH— Pete Piringer (@Pete Piringer) 1620949715.0
Given the shocking nature of this tragedy, many didn't believe a cigarette could cause such damage.
@mcfrsPIO @mcfrs Copious amount looks like about a gallon went up!.— PhotographicFloridian (@PhotographicFloridian) 1620965806.0
@mcfrsPIO @MCFRS_EMIHS There must be more to this. If it was simply smoking with freshly applied hand sanitizer wou… https://t.co/pPJloRyMXp— sounds like a you problem 🇯🇲🏳️🌈 (@sounds like a you problem 🇯🇲🏳️🌈) 1620950556.0
@mcfrsPIO How the hell much sanitizer was being used? Did he have like a gallon sized bottle?— It’s Dot..... Pressa Ho (@It’s Dot..... Pressa Ho) 1621033849.0
@mcfrsPIO @MCFRS_EMIHS Vehicle not in one parking spot, figure someone was in a hurry to get out...Maybe smoking wh… https://t.co/6KgqCX0msi— ouivalerie (@ouivalerie) 1621094930.0
Others had an inkling about the alcohol content of the sanitizer.
@Kompressa @mcfrsPIO Doesn't have to be much. Burn hands, drop the bottle, alcohol spills, fire consumes everything… https://t.co/iLiT8Q8yrZ— Riks is wearing N95-class M A S K S (@Riks is wearing N95-class M A S K S) 1621126348.0
@ChloeWEARMASK @mcfrsPIO @mcfrs Alcohol in the sanitizer, plus an ignition source like a lighter or match.— racerpgt (@racerpgt) 1621001967.0
@mcfrsPIO @MCFRS_EMIHS Some hand sanitizers produced during the pandemic have a higher alcohol content. That could be the reason.— karen marie (@karen marie) 1620998169.0
Though the damages to the car are total, we are thankful the driver made it out of the car in time and someone was nearby to call 911.