Mechanic killed pouring gasoline on fire

Oregon Case Report:06OR001
Release Date: August 2008

The following report is the product of our Cooperative State partner and is presented here in its original unedited form from the state. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the individual Cooperative State partner and do not necessarily reflect the views or policy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.


On January 9, 2006, a 37-year-old field mechanic for a logging company was killed when he tried to stoke a warming fire by pouring gasoline on it. The mechanic and a coworker arrived at a logging site at 7 a.m. to perform maintenance on a log-loading machine. The weather was cold and rainy, and the coworker started a warming fire, using a combination of diesel fuel and chainsaw gasoline. About 8 a.m., the coworker left to call for parts on a cell phone. He returned about 15 minutes later and found the mechanic lying 35 feet from the warming fire, engulfed in flames. Another fire, about 20 feet from the warming fire, was found to be caused by a burning 5-gallon plastic gasoline container. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Page last reviewed: November 18, 2015