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Car set ablaze after Joliet woman used lighter to check gas can level
By Lee Filas | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 8/28/2009 8:17 AM | Updated: 8/28/2009 8:17 AM

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A 27-year-old Joliet woman is suffering from second-degree burns after using a lighter to check the fuel level in a gas can she was filling while the can was resting inside her car.

Police officials said the woman drove into a 7-11 gas station at 1609 E. Cass St. at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday night and climbed out of her car.

She then placed the gas can on the passenger seat of the vehicle, pulled down the nozzle of the pump, and began filling the can.

About halfway through, the woman ignited a lighter to shine some light on the gas can, apparently to see how full the can was, officials said.

The can ignited from the lighter's flame and exploded, setting the vehicle's interior ablaze, officials said.

After the fire started, the woman pushed the car away from the gas pumps to apparently ensure the fire didn't spread to the gas pumps itself.

Officials said, when police and fire officials arrived on the scene, the car was located about 5-feet from the pumps and was completely engulfed in flames.

The woman was transported from the scene to Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet with nonlife threatening injuries to her wrist and thigh, authorities said.