Michelle Monroe, St. Albans Messenger
ST. ALBANS — An explosion and fire at Mac’s Quick Stop in St. Albans left a workman seriously injured this morning, according to a St. Albans City Fire Dept. report.
Around 8 a.m., a male Champlain Oil Corporation (COCO) employee was replacing underground gasoline storage tanks in a pump pit at the gas station located at 233 South Main St.
Reports indicated that while the employee was cutting metal conduit a spark ignited gasoline fumes trapped in the pump pit.
St. Albans Police and Fire Chief Gary Taylor said it was not clear how the man made it out of the pit, which was 4 to 5 feet deep. The explosion may have propelled him upward or he may have dragged himself out.
A witness described a plume of fire shooting from the pit, and the clothing of the as yet unnamed COCO employee catching fire.
The employee’s clothing and the flames in the pump pit were extinguished with a dry chemical fire extinguisher prior to the fire department’s arrival by a co-worker, and AmCare Ambulance Services transported the burn victim to Northwestern Medical Center.
Rescue officials are withholding his name until his family has been contacted, said Taylor. His lower extremities were severely burned, said Taylor.
The Vermont State Police Fire Marshal’s Office was called and also responded to the scene.