A man was seriously injured Thursday morning when fire erupted at a Cobb County gas station.
The fire was reported at about 8 a.m. at the Chevron gas station on Shallowford and Trickum roads.
Cobb County fire officials said the man was fueling his motorcycle when the fire ignited.
“He was filling his bike up, he had it running, had the radio real loud,” witness Billy Houston said.
Houston said the man couldn’t hear his warnings that gas had overflowed the tank.
“I saw the gas coming over the tank, and I yelled at him, but he didn’t hear me and before you knew it, it happened really fast,” he said.
According to fire officials, the 53-year old man suffered severe burns on the lower half of his body. He was airlifted to Grady Hospital.
Houston ran to help the motorcycle driver and was burned on his hands and arms and taken to Wellstar Cobb Hospital for treatment.
“I was trying to help him. There was plenty of screaming, panicking. He was on fire,” Houston said.
The owner of the gas station said Houston and another man who ran to help likely saved the motorcycle driver’s life.
“There was a guy at the other pump and he just came, taking off his jacket. He put it on top of him, so he saved him,” Asif Nansi said.
Fire officials said the driver could have been more seriously injured if the two men had not stepped in to help.
“They saved this man’s life. Had he fallen down in that or spent much more time in there… he didn’t appear to have any burns to his airway or face. Had they not gotten him out of there and left him in there, he certainly could have done that,” Cobb County Battalion Chief David Blount said.
The fire significantly damaged the motorcycle and the gas pump.
Motorcycle drivers told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt that based on the way gas tanks and pump nozzles are designed, there is often no automatic shut off.
Investigators are trying to figure out what caused the fire and are not sure if the motor was running while the driver pumped the gas.