Woman injured in fire from gasoline vapors

Brooklyn Park resident had used fuel to remove paint from her hands

March 10, 2000|By Laura Barnhardt | Laura Barnhardt,SUN STAFF

A 39-year-old Brooklyn Park woman was recovering at home yesterday from second-degree burns after she accidentally started a fire by using gasoline to remove paint from her hands.

Anne Arundel fire officials said they believe the pilot light on her stove ignited the gasoline vapors, causing a flash fire in the woman's kitchen Wednesday afternoon as she stood at the sink washing paint from her hands.

Investigators said it was also possible that heat from a nearby halogen lamp might have ignited the vapors, causing the explosion that Gail Hullett said threw her across the kitchen.

The flames quickly spread to the kitchen cabinets and curtains, fire officials said.

Firefighters were able to contain the blaze in the kitchen, which sustained about $15,000 in damage, said Anne Arundel County Fire Department spokesman John M. Scholz.

Hullett, who had been refinishing a foyer table and painting the front porch of her Patrick Henry Drive rowhouse, was taken to Hopkins Bayview hospital where she was treated for burns on her hands and released.

" I never thought the gasoline would be a problem. I had washed my hands [with it] earlier, and there was no problem," Hullett said.

"I hope my mistake can help other people," she said.

Scholz warned people not to use gasoline in their homes. Even though he said it effectively removes paint, "It's an extremely volatile, flammable liquid. It's not something you want to use indoors. And it's not something you want to use to clean your hands."

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