Seattle Courant Archive

Capitol Hill Gas Station Bursts In Flames

Capitol Hill Gas Station Bursts In Flames

By Hector Castro
September 05, 2008

"The pump was engulfed and so were both the vehicles," said Adam Nemeth, a chef at neighboring Bella Pizza and Pasta, who said initially the flames went past the 15-foot gas pump awning. "I was worried it would blow the windows out."

Nemeth, who watched the flames erupt from across the street, helped a customer rush out the back exit.

The woman who was pumping her gas scrambled to her feet and quickly rescued her dog, still in her vehicle, Seattle Fire Department Dana Vander Houwen said.

Police called for people to evacuate the area as flames continued to reach past the awning.

The woman suffered second-degree burns to her legs and was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment. The Volkswagen driver was also taken to Harborview with non-life-threatening injuries, Vander Houwen said.

Witnesses said it appeared as though the SUV had accelerated to avoid an accident. Police were still investigating the cause Wednesday evening.

Traffic was clogged around the Capitol scene for more than an hour. Damage to the gas station was estimated at $80,000, Vander Houwen said.