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One hospitalized after gas siphoning incident in Tacoma went sideways

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on Sep. 9, 2010 at 8:33 am with 25 Comments »
September 9, 2010 8:33 am

A young woman was burned and another man was on the run Wednesday night after their attempt to siphon gas from a Salvation Army vehicle went awry.

Paramedics took the 20-year-old woman to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of her burns, Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.

A witness called Tacoma police shortly after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday after spotting two people trying to siphon gas from a Salvation Army van parked in a church parking lot at 1110 Puget Sound Ave. The witness walked over to the lot to get a better view of the man and woman and startled the suspects, Fulghum said.

The suspects looked toward the witness.

“Moments later, fire erupted,” Fulghum said.

The van, a nearby vehicle and the two suspects caught fire. The woman ran toward the witness, who tried to get her to stop, drop and roll. She didn’t and the witness used a garden hose to douse the flames, Fulghum said.

The male suspect was able to put his own flames out. He remained at the scene for a short time and talked to witnesses, then fled before Tacoma police officers arrived, Fulghum said.

Tacoma firefighters responded to the report of a car fire at the parking lot. Crews extinguished the rest of the fire. The Salvation Army van and a nearby vehicle were burned.

Paramedics took the woman to Harborview. A Tacoma police officer also went to the Seattle hospital but was unable to talk to the woman, Fulghum said. Her injuries were not considered life threatening.

The woman could face charges related to the gas theft and fire when she’s released from the hospital, Fulghum said.

Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. sharonlee says:

    dumb dumb dumb I have no sympathy for either one.

  2. DubyaFTW says:

    That’s the first thing they teach you in bum school:

    Always put out cigarettes before siphoning gas!

  3. murphtall says:

    what? were they smoking marlboros? lol what does 2 gallons of gas equal one pack of smokes now? do the math. smoke or drive. whatever you do, don’t smoke and siphon gas

  4. iamjimbo says:

    Karma… gotta love it.

  5. Stupid is as stupid does. A Salvation army van at that. In a church yard, too.
    Were they inviting trouble!

  6. fivecardstud says:

    And that is why you shouldn’t smoke. Especially when your siphoning gas.

  7. ffgandarajd says:


  8. bahamamama says:

    Getting exactly what they deserve!!! You gotta LOVE karma. LMAO!

  9. LOL is all I can say! What a bunch of DUMMIES! Maybe someone recorded it so it can go on that show “dumbest criminals”

  10. danmackley says:

    I’m being cynical, yes, but this still seems likely: How long before the “victim” sues the witness for distracting her and “causing her burns”?

  11. pungentsound says:

    No mention of smoking so it was obviously spontaneous human combustion.

  12. ronniew says:

    It’s ironic they were stealing from a church parking lot. If they ever went INSIDE the church they would know better.

  13. shadow99 says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Hopefully that will teach these two idiots a lesson about trying to steal something that does not belong to them.

  14. weethepeople says:

    Now she can collect a social security disability check if she’s not already. Her coward boyfriend should have stuck around and got a check too.
    Maybe the gov’t will send them an additional check as well. And yet, they’ll still be out stealing. Let’s sub-contract our judicial system to Saudia Arabia and see if the crime rate goes down. Ya, think!!

  15. Devinc253 says:

    Wow.. Dumb people

  16. sunup500 says:

    That act of stupidity is going to cost the taxpayers a bundle of money. The flight to Harborview, the treatment, the emergency services that were dispatched, the attornies for the court appearances to answer the charges to come, the penalties which may include incarceration etc. etc etc. i suppose now we can expect her to get social security because she won’t be able to work, which in all likelyhood she probably didn’t anyway. Nice boyfriend running off and leaving her like that.

  17. When she reaches menopause, won’t her moustache look funny?

  18. skinner says:

    The church and salvation army had a hot time last night

  19. huffington says:

    Every once in awhile, the News Tribune actually prints something that makes me smile.

  20. Little Arson Annie and her sidekick Frank Flame. I wonder if the little gizmo in the woman popped out when she was done/

  21. MSHacker says:

    Oh well….L.O.L.

  22. WarmNfuzziOne says:

    I find this lack of compassion sad.

  23. For who? The chick who lit herself on fire or the dozens of people who will suffer without the basic services the Salvation Army uses that van to provide?

  24. Novelist3 says:

    I feel sorry for those who now have to suffer from the hardships caused by the loss of the van.
    On another note, gasoline is one of the most combustible substances we use on a daily basis. The act of simply siphoning, if the thieves were using a tube or container not specifically designed for gas, presents a significant fire/explosion hazard- no cigarette needed.

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