‘High octane’ fuel explosion seriously injures man in Ohio backyard, cops say

A man was seriously injured by an explosion that rocked an Ohio backyard, police said.

The man, a 43-year-old Tiffin resident, was preparing a fire in a backyard pit before the blast went off on Sept. 9, according to a news release from local police.

He was using a can full of “high octane racing fuel” to light the fire, police said.

The explosion went off while the man poured the fluid on a pile of wood and held a lit cigarette between his lips, police said.

Police and firefighters responded to the scene around 4 a.m. and found the man lying on the ground near the fire pit.

The man, who has not been named, was taken to a local hospital. Later, “given the severity of the injuries,” he was airlifted about 95 miles northeast to a hospital in Cleveland, police said.

The incident is believed to be accidental, but an investigation into the matter is ongoing, police said.

A representative for the Tiffin Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from McClatchy News on Sept. 11.

Gasoline should never be used to start a fire, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“Gasoline and its fumes are extremely flammable,” the agency said in a post on Twitter, now rebranded as X. “When pouring gas on wood the area around the wood is filled with fumes. A match or lighter can ignite the fumes and even explode.”

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