Motorists up and down the east coast are hoarding gasoline in response to a cyber attack on the Colonial Pipeline, with panicked customers forming long lines at gas stations and stockpiling fuel. Unfortunately for one Hummer H2 driver, their stockpile of gasoline resulted in their SUV burning to the ground.
In a recent report from the Citrus County Chronicle, Citrus County Fire Rescue crews were called out to a vehicle fire Wednesday morning, arriving shortly before 11 a.m. The fire was reported in Homosassa on South Alabama Avenue and West Grover Cleveland Boulevard.
According to officials, the Hummer H2 driver had filled several gas cans at a nearby Texaco Food Mart on West Grover Cleveland Boulevard. The SUV apparently had four five-gallon containers filled with gasoline in the rear of the vehicle.
The resulting fire was extinguished by 11:09 a.m., but as evidenced by the photos, the Hummer H2 was completely destroyed. Officials also said that the fire resulted in one injury, but the injured individual refused transport, despite medical advice to the contrary.
The official cause of the fire has yet to be determined.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Tuesday night, stating that the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack posed a “significant and immediate threat” to Florida fuel delivery. However, officials have urged Florida residents not to hoard gasoline, and panic buying has resulted in numerous shortages thus far.
Some reports show motorists filling plastic bags with gasoline. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has also issued a tweet urging people not to fill plastic bags with gas.
The latest is that the Colonial Pipeline is back online, but panic buying will likely result in gas shortages lasting weeks as customers drain gas stations of inventories and hoard fuel. The surge in demand has also pushed fuel prices higher.