Explosion At Gas Station; Gas Theft Scheme Goes Up In Flames

Surveillance video from a Fresno gas station shows a driver trying to take off after an explosion, and investigators believe two would-be thieves could have been burned in the blast.

It happened at the Valero gas station on Cedar and Gettysburg in central Fresno early Sunday morning.

The crooks drove to the main tank and started helping themselves to free gas. But something went terribly wrong.

The thieves brought their own equipment - a pump and a trailer.

About 320 gallons of regular unleaded was pumped out of the main tank at the station when the fire sparked.

A man tried to drive off with the trailer on fire, but the truck stopped.

He jumped out, looked back, and walked away from the scene.

Another camera caught this woman walking away from the fire around the same time.

The scene made the manager of the gas station laugh.

"I don't know what to say, it's kind of funny. They should know anything can happen wrong," said Anjeet Kaur.

She calls it karma.

The manager says she's glad the vapors didn't reach the service pumps - or things could've been much worse.

Fire investigators are still looking into what caused the explosion. One possibility is static electricity. Investigators say, as the gas was being pumped out of the tank and into a container, static electricity could've ignited the vapors.

Investigators think the people involved could even be burned.

The same gas station was hit last year in the same way -- back then thieves got away with about 4,000 gallons of gas.

So far, Fresno Police haven't figured out who's behind this weekend's gas theft-gone wrong.