NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A car burst into flames in New Middletown Monday afternoon and exploded, according to video sent to WKBN and New Middletown’s Police Chief.
The fire injured Chief Vince D’Egidio and caused smoke damage to a Dollar General store on Rt. 170 in New Middletown, D’Egidio said.
D’Egidio said that the fire broke out just before 1 p.m. Police heard about the fire when a woman, who told police she was driving down Rt. 170 with her dad when they heard a noise and saw smoke coming out of the hood, pulled over into the Dollar General parking lot, and called 911.
D’Egidio said that when he arrived, he got a fire extinguisher out of his cruiser and tried to put out the fire with the help of a bystander. He said that during the process, he sliced his hand and suffered smoke inhalation. He was treated for his injuries at the scene.
Firefighters soon arrived and put out the fire.
During this time, officers learned that there was a gas can in the car, so fearing an explosion, they evacuated the Dollar General, which had about 12 people inside. In the above video, you can see an explosion, which was the gas can exploding.
Smoke from the fire damaged the inside of the store, according to D’Egidio.
The fire department had to vent out the smoke with exhaust fans. To do so, they had to close the store for about 30 minutes.
This is the same Dollar General that had a mishap back on December 30, 2015 when a driver thought she hit the brake instead of the gas…and rammed her car into the building. In that incident, a few blocks were knocked out of the wall and the car had significant damage. The driver was not injured.