For many, this is a cautionary tale.
The caution: Never, ever store or transport flammable liquids or gases in passenger vehicles.
A man was severely injured Sunday night when he opened his car trunk to a brewing cocktail, which set off an explosion in Lawrenceville.
The call came in at 8:17 p.m. about an explosion and vehicle fire in the 1000 block of Albemarle Way, Gwinnett County Fire spokesman Lt. Eric Eberly said.
A nearby home was also damaged, fire officials said.
Firefighters arrived at the scene in four minutes to find the vehicle fully engulfed in flames, Lt. Eberly said.
“They also found one male with extensive injuries and burns,” Lt. Eberly said. “Crews quickly went to work treating the patient.”
A Gwinnett Fire Medic Unit then transported the man to the Grady burn unit while firefighters worked to quickly extinguish the flames.
“There is extensive blast damage to the vehicle and the residence,” Lt. Eberly said.
Officials called arson investigators to interview witnesses in attempt to determine the cause of the explosion.
They have since ruled the fire an accident.
“Investigators have determined that the cause of the explosion was due to a buildup of acetylene gas within the vehicle,” Lt. Eberly said.
Acetylene is a colorless gas that is widely used as a fuel and a chemical building block. It is unstable in pure form and is, therefore, usually handled as a solution.
The container of acetylene was being stored in the trunk of the vehicle and to be used for work purposes, the lieutenant said.
“The explosion occurred when the owner of the vehicle went to open the trunk to place a piece of furniture in the trunk for storage,” Lt. Eberly said.
The gas leaked from its tank into the trunk and when the owner opened the trunk it exploded, Lt. Eberly said.
The combination of gas and fuel mixture was just right, Lt. Eberly said. But fire officials weren’t sure what sparked the mixture.
“We would only be speculating on how that exactly occurred,” Lt. Eberly said. “The ‘sparking’ detail is being reserved for the insurance investigators and product manufactures to decide among themselves.”
Fire officials have not released the man’s name and his condition was unavailable late Monday morning.
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