A 31-year-old Woodward woman was taken to the hospital Friday morning after a flash fire at a Woodward gas station.

The woman had been filling her tank up with gas at the 13th Street Hutch’s Convenience Store shortly before 8 a.m. Friday when something ignited the fumes and caused a flash fire, said Woodward Fire Marshal Todd Finley.

“We think it was static electricity,” he said of the cause for the fire.

The woman did receive some minor burns, Finley said, noting that she was treated at Woodward Regional Hospital and later released.

Static electricity is a major concern when there are gasoline fumes present, he said, noting that whenever you fill up gasoline fumes build up in the air.

During cold months these fumes can become more concentrated because the air molecules don’t move around as fast so the fumes can’t dissipate as quickly, Finley said.

And you can build up a static charge just by getting in an out of your vehicle, so the fire marshal recommended discharging this electricity by touching your car or another metal surface before handling a gasoline nozzle.

In addition, Finley said that “the best thing to do is stay with the nozzle until you’re finished filling up.”

Other safety tips for when you’re at the gas pumps include “to turn your motor off when you fill up and don’t use your cell phone.”

Ignited gas fumes caused another morning fire Friday destroying a garage and the vehicle inside it near a home in the 1600 block of 8th St.

Altogether, including the cost of tools inside the garage as well as the cost of the vehicle and the garage itself, the fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage, according to Woodward Fire Captain Kevin Dixon.

The fire erupted after a man who was working on the vehicle turned on a gas heater inside the garage and then left the heater unattended for a while, Dixon said.

“He’d gone into the house for a moment, and then I guess a neighbor knocked on the door to tell him the garage was on fire,” he said.

Fortunately, though, because the man had gone inside, there were no injuries from the fire, Dixon said, noting that firefighters were able to contain the fire quickly.

“The possibility (of a fire) is always there anytime you have a gas fired heater inside a closed area,” he said. “Vapors can even ignite from across the room.

So when using a heater inside, Dixon urged homeowners to “be careful when inside a small, enclosed area.”

“Just use caution,” he said, noting that having proper ventilation is a key step.

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