You can’t start a fire without a spark.
Cops in New York are on the lookout for a man caught on surveillance video trying to torch a Staten Island gas station, according to a police report.
The would-be firestarter approached the gas station just before 2 a.m. Monday morning and asked for a gas can and plopped down $40 for fuel, despite a warning from the attendant that he was buying too much gas to fit in the can, police said.
Video of the incident shows the man, described by police as wearing a light-colored long-sleeve shirt, dark shorts, and slippers, initially pouring gas into the can, before spraying the pumps and the area around it with the pump nozzle.
The dimwitted arsonist, who was standing directly on a patch of pavement wet with gasoline, then appeared to lean over, lite a piece of paper, and toss it onto the accelerant, igniting a huge fireball that blew up in his face, according to the video released by police.
Before the fire could rage out of control, the gas station’s fire-suppression system kicked into gear, putting out the blaze, according to the video and a police report.
The man appeared to escape the fireball—although it was unclear if he retained his eyebrows. But a 21-year-old man who was pumping gas at the time wasn’t so lucky, sustaining serious internal injuries, police said. The bystander was taken to Richmond University Hospital in serious but stable condition, while the alleged arsonist remains at large, a police spokesman told Oxygen.com.
An employee at the gas station who answered the phone Tuesday declined to comment.