November 25, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
30°F
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Firefighters put out fire at gas station

LYRIA — Firefighters were fast to contain a small fire that broke out at a gas station off state Route 57 on Tuesday after a motorist plowed her minivan into a gas pump and knocked the entire pump off its base and igniting the gas.

Elyria fire Capt. Joe Pronesti said fire crews at Fire Station No. 3, which is just a few hundred feet from the Speedway gas station, heard the minivan hit the gas pump.

SHAWN FOUCHER / CHRONICLE
A van is seen after it hit a gas pump Tuesday night at a Speedway gas station in Elyria.

The incident occurred just before 11:30 p.m., when the minivan was driving toward the gas station parking lot exit, but somehow managed to strike the gas pump nearly head-on, Pronesti said.

Police were still assessing the scene at press time, but firefighters suspected the vehicle had to be accelerating at a high rate of speed in order to knock the entire pump off its base. 

The collision also caused the gas pump to catch fire, Pronesti said, adding that a firefighter from Station No. 3 ran to the gas station with a fire extinguisher and was able to snuff most of the flames on his own. Two other firefighters hopped in a fire engine and arrived on scene moments later to assist.

When the minivan struck the pump, it also caused the driver to strike her head on the vehicle’s windshield, leaving a volleyball-sized impression in the glass. Pronesti said the driver declined medical treatment.