Man Burned to Death Pumping Gas
Man dies in gas pump blaze
Originally published November 05, 2009 By Gina Gallucci-White and
Fredick News-Post Staff
Germantown resident Ainsley R. Gordon
Jr., 26, died Wednesday after suffering third-degree burns over
his entire body from a fire at the FSK Food and Fuel Exxon station
in Frederick. Officials have not determined what sparked the early
An early morning trip to fill a gas can turned deadly for a Germantown
man Wednesday when a fire started, engulfing him, his Nissan Pathfinder,
the gas can, the gas station's pump and canopy in flames.
Ainsley R. Gordon Jr., 26, was pronounced
dead at Washington Hospital Center after suffering third-degree
burns over his entire body. Gordon was flown by state police helicopter
to MedStar's burn unit after the 4 a.m. fire at FSK Food and Fuel
Exxon station, 5516 Buckeystown Pike.
"My heart goes out to the family,"
station owner Elmer Wachter said. "I've lost loved ones, too,
but no one that young. It's sad when such a thing happens to a young
person with so much life ahead of them."
After the fire started, Gordon ran
into the store and back out, said Mike Dmuchowski, spokesman for
the Division of Fire and Rescue Services. Dmuchowski did not know
if the pump had an automatic shut-off in the event of fire.
The building did not catch fire. Damage
to the pump area is estimated at $200,000.
Dmuchowski said the cause of the fire
is under investigation.
The station was closed Wednesday morning
as several employees with the Berwyn Heights-based Petroleum Site
Works company worked on the destroyed pump, and Exxon engineers
and officials began looking into the fire.
After speaking to Exxon engineers Wednesday
afternoon, Wachter said gas lines at the station had been given
a clean bill of health.
"They've been doing testing to
bring it back up and telling us that so far, it's been good,"
Exxon investigators have not determined
the cause of the fire, he said.
"Whether the car caught on fire
before the pump, or the pump caught on fire before the car -- they
have no idea at this point."
Cleanup and repair is expected to continue
for the next week before the station will be pumping gas again,
"We've had a fatality at a drag
strip (Mason-Dixon in Boonsboro) that I own and several bad accidents,
but nothing like this before," he said. "As a business
owner, you always take every precaution you can to make it as safe
an environment as you can for your customers."
Anyone who drove by or was at the station
or saw anything unusual should call the Maryland Arson Hotline at
1-800-492-7529 or the State Fire Marshal Metro Regional Office at