MANSFIELD – An explosion and fire at a local gas station which left one worker with life-threatening burns Wednesday was caused when welding ignited flammable materials nearby, according to Fire Chief Neal Boldrighini.

“This fire is considered accidental,” he said.

The injured worker Ron Stanovitch was identified on a GoFundMe Page in support of him and his family.

“Ronald has been working as an auto-mechanic all his life. And he is loved and appreciated by everyone that knows him. Ronald is a great and honest guy that gave nothing but support and love to his wife, family and friends,” the page states.

The fire at Canaan Fuels Full-Service Gas Station & Auto Repair at Route 106 and Pratt Street started with an explosion at 12:34 on Sept. 25.

The workers at the station shut down the pumps and left the building, but then went back inside when they realized a coworker, Stanovitch, was still inside and in trouble, Boldrighini said.

The men got the worker out of the building. A fire extinguisher was used on him to douse the flames and his clothes were removed.

Boldrighini said it was “absolutely” the right thing to do.

“That’s a phenomenal act,” the chief said. “They saved a man’s life.”

Firefighters and police responded and emergency medical personnel took over. The man was taken by Medflight to Boston Medical Center with life-threatening burns, Boldrighini said.

Boldrighini said shutting down the pumps was particularly important because the station is an older building without a fire suppression system at the pumps or in the building.

There were several succeeding explosions, but the first involved a 55-gallon drum of a flammable substance, Boldrighini said. Being a gas station and repair shop there were a lot of other flammable items such as gas tanks in cars.

“There was a lot of stuff popping,” he said.

Firefighters attacked blaze with larger hoses to get as much water as possible on the fire so it did not spread to the pumps.

“They didn’t know if the pumps had been turned off,” the chief said. “The pumps sustained pretty serious heat. The guys were right there at that spot.”

Boldrighini said the crews did good work extinguishing the blaze before it could spread, eliminating the need to evacuate the neighborhood. The Mansfield Public Library/Council on Aging building close by was evacuated due to smoke, he said.

“If we didn’t contain the fire we would have had to evacuate the area,” he said. “It was a very stubborn fire. It took awhile to put out.

“It could have been much worse.”

Though he could not provide a damage estimate he said the station “lost everything.”

“Our hearts go out to the man who was hurt,” Boldrighini said.

The following statement was posted to Canaan Fuels Facebook page:

“We thank the Mansfield fire, police as well as fire crews from Easton, Norton and Foxborough helping us. They have done a great job. Our prayers and full support for our employee and his family who has suffered from this tragic incident. We will start rebuilding the site as soon as possible. We thank all of customers for their support.”

There are three GoFundMePages raising money in response to the fire:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/ron-stanovitch-and-his-family

https://www.gofundme.com/f/cannan-fuels-gas-amp-auto-repair

https://www.gofundme.com/f/canaan-fuels

 

Mansfield gas station explosion trigged by welding

Donna Whitehead | dwhitehead@wickedlocal.com

MANSFIELD – An explosion and fire at a local gas station which left one worker with life-threatening burns Wednesday was caused when welding ignited flammable materials nearby, according to Fire Chief Neal Boldrighini.

“This fire is considered accidental,” he said.

The injured worker Ron Stanovitch was identified on a GoFundMe Page in support of him and his family.

“Ronald has been working as an auto-mechanic all his life. And he is loved and appreciated by everyone that knows him. Ronald is a great and honest guy that gave nothing but support and love to his wife, family and friends,” the page states.

The fire at Canaan Fuels Full-Service Gas Station & Auto Repair at Route 106 and Pratt Street started with an explosion at 12:34 on Sept. 25.

The workers at the station shut down the pumps and left the building, but then went back inside when they realized a coworker, Stanovitch, was still inside and in trouble, Boldrighini said.

The men got the worker out of the building. A fire extinguisher was used on him to douse the flames and his clothes were removed.

Boldrighini said it was “absolutely” the right thing to do.

“That’s a phenomenal act,” the chief said. “They saved a man’s life.”

Firefighters and police responded and emergency medical personnel took over. The man was taken by Medflight to Boston Medical Center with life-threatening burns, Boldrighini said.

Boldrighini said shutting down the pumps was particularly important because the station is an older building without a fire suppression system at the pumps or in the building.

There were several succeeding explosions, but the first involved a 55-gallon drum of a flammable substance, Boldrighini said. Being a gas station and repair shop there were a lot of other flammable items such as gas tanks in cars.

“There was a lot of stuff popping,” he said.

Firefighters attacked blaze with larger hoses to get as much water as possible on the fire so it did not spread to the pumps.

“They didn’t know if the pumps had been turned off,” the chief said. “The pumps sustained pretty serious heat. The guys were right there at that spot.”

Boldrighini said the crews did good work extinguishing the blaze before it could spread, eliminating the need to evacuate the neighborhood. The Mansfield Public Library/Council on Aging building close by was evacuated due to smoke, he said.

“If we didn’t contain the fire we would have had to evacuate the area,” he said. “It was a very stubborn fire. It took awhile to put out.

“It could have been much worse.”

Though he could not provide a damage estimate he said the station “lost everything.”

“Our hearts go out to the man who was hurt,” Boldrighini said.

The following statement was posted to Canaan Fuels Facebook page:

“We thank the Mansfield fire, police as well as fire crews from Easton, Norton and Foxborough helping us. They have done a great job. Our prayers and full support for our employee and his family who has suffered from this tragic incident. We will start rebuilding the site as soon as possible. We thank all of customers for their support.”

There are three GoFundMePages raising money in response to the fire:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/ron-stanovitch-and-his-family

https://www.gofundme.com/f/cannan-fuels-gas-amp-auto-repair

https://www.gofundme.com/f/canaan-fuels