-- Fire officials in Rochester, New York, say they are still trying to figure out what sparked a recent car explosion that could be heard for miles by residents and left a man badly injured.
On Wednesday, around 12:30 a.m., the Rochester Fire Department said that Igor Pataco, 44, of Greece, New York, had purchased gasoline from the pumps of a Sunoco gas station. Authorities said he put the container of fuel in the passenger compartment of the car and then closed the doors for a few minutes.
Surveillance video taken at the gas station shows Pataco entering the car. Moments later it exploded. Flames melted some of the building's light fixtures as well as a Sunoco sign.
Pataco survived the blast and is shown on video getting out of the vehicle with his clothes on fire. He then drops to the ground to extinguish the flames. Fire officials said he remained in a hospital after suffering second- and third-degree burns to about 30 percent of his body.
"I heard a whole bunch of ambulances," Nelson told ABC News affiliate WHAM-TV. "I feel sorry for the guy."
Rochester Fire Capt. Edward Kuppinger said he did not know if the gas container had been placed in the front or the back seat of the car. Pataco was said to be conscious and breathing but Kuppinger said that he was in no shape to be interviewed at this time by authorities.
Salem Nagi, the gas station's owner, called the scene "very scary."
"I try to tell people to be careful," Nagi told WHAM-TV. "I hope everybody just takes their time and be safe when they're around the pumps, you know. This is very dangerous."