Man dies from burns after he catches fire at Springfield gas station

Published: Dec. 14, 2017 at 6:13 PM CST
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A man is dead after a gas pump fire a month ago in Springfield.

Fifty-five-year-old Chad Richards was filling up his gas tank at the Kum & Go on the corner of South Campbell Avenue and Whiteside Street, when the gas ignited and he was severely burned.

Springfield Fire Marshal Bill Spence said, "(He) was in the process of moving to Springfield. He had just arrived from Florida the day before the fire."

The incident was caught on surveillance video, but officials said they can't pinpoint the cause.

"In this case the surveillance video just wasn't good enough quality or wasn't close enough to the victim where we could see what actually happened," Spence said.

It wasn't arson or deliberate, but there are other possibilities:

"That's the time of year where we typically see this type of event occur," Spence said, "In which the dry air just enhances the ability to create static electricity."

The gas pump Richards was using is still shutdown. A Kum & Go representative said the gas pump dispenser needs to be replaced. But the fire marshal said the Kum & Go followed protocol.

"They had fire extinguishers readily available, their gas shutoffs were readily available. On top of that bystanders in the area jumped to action very quickly however it was unfortunate that his injuries were too severe resulting in his death," Spence said.

This marks the second fire-related death in Springfield this year.