Fire Engulfs Car After Altercation at South L.A. Gas Station; No Injuries

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A fire engulfed a customer’s car after he was confronted by a man at a gas station in the Vermont Square neighborhood of South Los Angeles early Saturday morning, authorities said.

A car caught fire at a Vermont Square gas station on April 11, 2015. (Credit: OnScene)

A car caught fire at a Vermont Square gas station on April 11, 2015. (Credit: OnScene)

The incident began about shortly after midnight when a man was pumping gas into his vehicle at a Union 76 station in the 500 block of West Vernon Avenue (map), according to a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Southwest Division. Two passengers were inside the car at the time.

A man approached the customer and, after an altercation ensued, grabbed the nozzle and began spraying the vehicle with gasoline, the LAPD said. The fuel somehow ignited, engulfing the car in flames.

The burned wreckage of a car is seen after it was set on fire at a gas station in Vermont Square on Saturday, April 11, 2012. (Credit: KTLA)

The burned wreckage of a car is seen after it was set on fire at a gas station in Vermont Square on Saturday, April 11, 2012. (Credit: KTLA)

The two passengers exited the vehicle and left the scene, the Police Department said. They have not been located.

The driver remained at the gas station as firefighters and police responded. He was not injured.

The man who doused the car with gasoline fled the location, according to the LAPD.

A witness to the incident said they were glad no one was injured.

“Thank God no one was hurt. It was just a miracle no one was hurt,” Gil Wagne said

The incident was captured on surveillance video, which will be reviewed by arson investigators, authorities said.

KTLA’s Ashley Soley-Cerro contributed to this report.