Fire that injured girl at Minnesota gas station ‘not accidental,’ fire chief says

SHOREVIEW, Minn. - Officials say it appears that a fire that critically burned a 17-year-old girl at a Shoreview gas station Tuesday morning was not accidental.

“We do not believe that there was any equipment malfunction with the gas pumps,” Tim Boehlke, chief of the Lake Johanna Fire Department, said in an update Wednesday, Dec. 12. “It appears this was not accidental.”

Boehlke said no one else was involved and there is no threat to public safety.

The fire started around 6 a.m. at the Quik Stop at 5910 Lexington Ave. near a fuel pump, according to Boehlke.

The girl ran inside the store and a clerk helped her extinguish the flames before calling 911, Boehlke said. The victim, who was not immediately identified, was rushed to Regions Hospital, in St. Paul, with life-threatening injuries.

A bystander used the store’s fire extinguisher to put out the fire near the gas pump, Boehlke said.