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2 MEN HOSPITALIZED AFTER COLLISION STARTS FIRE AT KEARNS GAS STATION

SHARE 2 MEN HOSPITALIZED AFTER COLLISION STARTS FIRE AT KEARNS GAS STATION

Two men were hospitalized after a car careened into a gas pump that burst into flames Thursday afternoon.

At about 2:50 p.m., a Datsun driven by Ray Stipanovach, 41, apparently collided with a pickup truck in the intersection of 3600 West and 5400 South and then deflected off the truck and into the Rainbo Oil station at 3618 W. 5400 South.The Datsun then collided with a car stopped at one of the station's gas pumps and hit the driver, Donald Martin, 56, crushing his foot. Stipanovach was treated at Pioneer Valley Hospital and released. Martin, of Salt Lake City, was treated at Cottonwood Hospital and released.

Both vehicles struck the gas pump. Sparks from the collision likely caused the fire to erupt, said Salt Lake County fire Capt. Bob Pendleton. "We had gas spilling out and it was a little critical for a few minutes."

Gasoline pumps have a device that automatically shuts the pump down if it is hit, but gas continued to spill during the eight-minute battle to douse the flames, Pendleton said. "The impact was so great we're suspecting that the pipes were fractured below the shutoff. That's why we had a little bit of trouble getting the fire out."

As a consequence, all of the station's pumps had to be shut down. Firefighters coated the area around the pump with a layer of fire-retardant foam as a safety precaution.