A Houston Avenue resident suffered facial burns and was taken to the University of Tennessee Medical Center on Wednesday with non-life threatening injuries after gasoline was used on a fire in Scarboro, authorities said.
The patient, who was not identified in an Oak Ridge Fire Department report, reportedly suffered second-degree burns from the fire at about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday.
Although he didn’t have more information on this particular incident, Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said gasoline is generally dangerous to use on fires.
“Gasoline should never be used to start or enhance open burning,” Kerley said Thursday.
He cited a couple of examples to illustrate the dangers.
First, a resident might be using gasoline to burn something such as a pile of leaves. After pouring gasoline on the debris, the person walks away to set down the gas can. In the meantime, the gas turns from a liquid to a vapor, and it accumulates in the leaves.
When the fire is started, the vapor explodes, Kerley said.
Alternatively, people sometimes pour gasoline on a fire and get burned when the fire â€œcomes back to them,â€ Kerley said.
“It’s extremely dangerous,â€ he said.