A Michigan man set a gas pump ablaze while attempting to kill a spider with a cigarette lighter last week, Fox 2 Detroit reported on Friday.

The unnamed man reportedly sustained no serious injuries, later telling Fox 2 that he saw the spider on his gas tank and is “deathly afraid of the critters” — so naturally, he had the totally understandable (at least, in his mind) reaction of opening flame while standing at the pump. Station employee Susan Adams helped the guy out, pressing the automatic-stop button on the pump and calling the local fire department.

Luckily the man’s fire-extinguishing reflexes were just as good as the ones he used to kill the spider, putting out the flames with a nearby extinguisher before firefighters arrived. The fire destroyed only the pump, as Fox 2 reports that the car received minor damage and surveillance footage shows the man to be the only person nearby the incident. Any damages are expected to fall under the station’s insurance coverage.

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Despite station employees getting a kick out of the video after the fact, Adams pointed out the important takeaway from the incident:

“He was sorry,” [Adams] said. “He was sorry, he said he didn’t know. It is just one of those things that happen - stupidity.”

Adams said this serves as a reminder about being careful around gas pumps. Whether it is using a cell phone or static electricity, the smallest spark can cause a gas station fire.

Somehow unashamed his complete disregard for common knowledge (seriously folks, gas and flames do not mix), the man returned the station the next day as a customer.


Contact the author at alanis.king@jalopnik.com.