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Posted on Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

Man burned while using gasoline to start fire outside Ann Arbor house

By John Counts


A man was burned Thursday evening while trying to start a fire with gasoline outside this house on Packard Street in Ann Arbor.

John Counts |

This story has been updated with information from HVA.

A man was burned Thursday evening after trying to start a fire with gasoline outside an Ann Arbor home, according to authorities.

The Ann Arbor Fire Department was dispatched after 6 p.m. to a reported fire near the intersection of Packard and South Division streets, near Blimpy Burger.

The fire was out when crews arrived, but a man had burns to his face, arms and chest, according to a news release from Ann Arbor fire Battalion Chief Robert Vogel.

Paramedics from Huron Valley Ambulance arrived and treated the man. Joyce Williams of HVA said the man was treated at the scene and not transported to the hospital.

"It appears that the injured male attempted to start a fire outside with gasoline and when he light the fire there was an explosion," the release read. "Others were able to extinguish (it) before the home caught fire."

The fire units were on scene less than a half hour, according to Vogel. Further information was not immediately available.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

And for this years Darwin Award I nominate....


Sun, Feb 24, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

hey Major, mebbe he can get together w/the lady who drove her car onto Portage lake......seems to me they have a lot in common.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 5:50 p.m.

But gas costs $4.00 a gallon!


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

What's his bill for emergency services? That alone would serve as a deterrent.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:38 p.m.

What was he burning, John? Was he lighting trash? Burning leaves or brush?Charcoal grill? His front porch? Seems like somebody would know? Please give us the rest of the story......


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 7:21 a.m.

Why was he trying to start a fire? Arson? Just trying to keep warm? Grilling dinner? Melting snow off the sidewalk? I've been very tempted to try the latter.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 12:04 p.m.

ChrisW....resist the temptation that's a real good way to make it crack.Cold + ice + sudden high heat can equal a nice crack.Water that gets into a small crack and freezes makes a big one


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 2:23 a.m.

Bet he won't try that again. I know I didn't after my first time, and I think I can safely say I'm not the only one.

martini man

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:42 a.m.

He was trying to start a fire using gasoline ??? Well ..he definitely suceeded.

John Counts

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:14 a.m.

This story has been updated to include information from HVA's Joyce Williams who said the man was treated at the scene and not transported to the hospital.

John Counts

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

This story has been updated with information from HVA's Joyce William who said the man was treated at the scene and not transported to the hospital.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:50 a.m.

That's a good sign at least. Sounds like only 1st degree burns then.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 12:44 a.m.

What man hasn't done this at least once?


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Not once


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 4:57 a.m.

I did it exactly once.

Martha Cojelona Gratis

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

Hopefully, he didn't lose his common sense in this explosion.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 2:21 p.m.

common sense? Martha, too late for that.......


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 12:27 a.m.

Waited too long after applying the gasoline. You should really NEVER EVER use gasoline to burn things...but if you do,you want to light it as soon as possible and NOT wait. If you wait that gives the fumes times to build up...and the fumes are the extra flammable BOOOOOOOM part. This is why you want to use CHARCOAL STARTER fluid and not gasoline. The fumes from starter fluid are not volatile like the fumes from gasoline.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 1:44 a.m.

True, however, only the "fumes" burn, gasoline actually is not fallible in the liquid form. It must vaporize and mix with air to burn. So yes, don't wait, as the opportunity for mixture could increase. I'm not sure why someone would burn with gasoline anyway? I hope the only lasting mark of this event is the reminder to be careful.

Ann English

Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

Hopefully, he didn't lose his eyesight in this explosion.


Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 6:41 p.m.

Why are people voting down on this comment? Do they doubt that this is a valid comment from a valid human being? I don't get it.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 12:21 a.m.

No doubt self-immolating in response to the impending eviction of Krazy Jim's. I only expect to see this sort of thing increase as city landmarks are consumed by the tax-exempt monster.


Fri, Feb 22, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

And we're done in one!