Car Crashes Into Martinez Gas Pump, Sparking Fire

MARTINEZ (CBS SF) — A driver crashed into a gas pump at a station in Martinez Wednesday evening, igniting a blaze that damaged and destroyed multiple cars before it was extinguished, witnesses and fire officials said.

The one-alarm fire was reported around 5:40 p.m. at the Flex Oil Gas station at the corner of Alhambra Avenue and Virginia Hills Drive.

A young male was driving a car that entered the gas station and struck a pump, according to Walnut Creek resident Lynn Laybourne, who was filling up her vehicle at a nearby pump.

“I had my back turned to it, all I heard was a noise,” Laybourne said.

“I realized something was going to happen and was going to pull the nozzle out, but I heard people yelling ‘Run!’ so I ran,” she said.

A car exploded behind her before a gas station employee turned off gas to the other tanks, Laybourne said.

Fire crews put out the flames by 6 p.m., according to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District.

“I kept thinking my car was going to blow but it didn’t,” Laybourne said.

She said her car suffered damage to its rear end and is remaining at the station overnight.

Three vehicles and two gas pumps burned in the fire, fire officials said. No injuries were reported.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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