'Horrifying' scene at Springfield gas station as man catches fire

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A man is clinging to life after catching fire while pumping gas at a Kum & Go on South Campbell Ave Wednesday morning in a scene a witness described as “horrifying.”

“Just sitting here looking at my phone and just saw fire from that way,” Izzy Earthchild says. “Saw him try to run to escape it and then drop down. It was unthinkable.”

The victim is in critical condition with “severe burns.”

“He himself was on fire probably at least a minute,” Earthchild said. “Forty-five seconds to a minute, at least, and almost from head to toe.”

Fire Marshal Bill Spence says his investigators haven’t zeroed in on a cause yet, and aren’t yet releasing the victim’s name.

Earthchild says there were around eight people in the parking lot at the time. “Someone grabbed a blanket from their car and tried to start putting him out while someone else ran in to get a fire extinguisher to put everything out,” she said.

Investigators don’t suspect foul play. There was some damage to the pump, which is now out of service.

“At this point until we're able to finalize a determination of the cause it'd be just speculation as far as giving people warnings about what they can and can't do at a gas pump,” he says. “But nothing there has changed.”