My Rocket in Flames on the Launchpad!!

blompod

Standard Bore
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
9
Location
Brisbane OZ
Thank goodness you're ok.... Why didn't the gas nozel auto cutout when the tank was full? They do here in Australia, and doesn't petrol/gas need a naked flame or spark to ignite? not just a hot surface..
 

Wdugan9080

.060 Over
Joined
May 11, 2021
Messages
105
Location
NJ, USA
Ride
2008 Triumph Rocket 3 Touring
Hey everyone,

Long post, but I wanted to make a separate post about about my latest tragedy so everyone can get the details and warnings. This past Sunday my bike went up in flames at a gas station. I was 3 miles from my house meeting some friends for a ride to put me over my first service mileage. I had about a quarter tank left and thought I'd top off for the ride. I usually go to Wawa's because they've got a quality facility and I can pay with my smartwatch so I don't have to take me gear off. Little did I know, that's what most likely saved me from more injuries and possibly my life that day.

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I paid and had the nozzle to the bottom of the plate in the tank, which I think we've all noticed is quite shallow, and began to fill. I gave a quick wave to my buddies who were hanging out at some of the outdoor tables and continued to pump. After another 10 seconds I wondered how much I was putting in and looked up at the pump then back down to the bike to notice that fuel was just flooding out all over the tank. I freaked out cause I never saw that much of a spill before. Usually it's just a few drops that I wipe up or try to catch with my gloved hands. Then whoosh! The whole bike went up in flames from the fuel hitting the headers.

I was engulfed in the flames for a second as I was running to where my friends were. I gave a quick glance to see if I was on fire which fortunately I wasn't but I noticed that my shirt was tattered and my arms were on burnt and the pain was coming through. My buddies swung into action by hitting the fuel cutoff sitting me down and getting me some water. Luckily, there was a police officer that was getting a car wash at the building next door and within 5 minutes fire rescue was there to put the bike out and get me help.

I've got 2nd degree burns on my right arm and 1st degree on my left and face through the open visor. The doctors said that had I not been wearing my gloves I would have probably had 3rd or 4th degree burns and permanent damage. My helmet prevented more severe damage to my face, eyes, throat, lungs and possibly death.

The skin on my arms had to be literally wiped off after some heavy drugs. I've got a full month of treatment and physical therapy to do and around a year before my skin heals completely. God willing as close to normal as possible.

Insurance (Gieco) is covering the bike completely, my health insurance has me covered. I'm on disability from now through the end of the year and I've secured legal council for the accident. Wawa corporate and the investigators who saw the video don't see any negligence on my part, for example topping off, being on my phone, leaving the bike running or smoking.

In addition to the accident here's a quick rundown of all that was supposed to happen in the coming days and weeks. The very next day I was supposed to drop off the bike to get wrapped to change the color and design. Saturday was the 1st service. I had a hotel booked and trailer rented to a guy's vacation to ride the Tail of the Dragon mid-month.

Lessons learned:

1. Never take your eye off the tank when filling up. Things you trust when driving cannot be when your riding.
2. If you can, keep your helmet and gloves on while refueling. It clearly saved my life.
3. Wear a jacket. Had I been wearing a jacket instead of a t-shirt because it was 90 degrees out I most likely wouldn't have been injured to this extent.

What sucks is that I had ordered a summer jacket the night before for my upcoming trip. It should be here any now and now I've got no bike and no trip.

Sorry for the long vent.

I'll be back on a Rocket real soon, definitely not a red one next time. :)

Be safe out here everyone.
Thanks for posting, I usually don't even think about fire, I push the nozzle to the bottom and start filling till it shuts off then hold the switch that is supposed to keep the vapors from escaping, and finish up really quick while holding the switch and waiting for the fuel to hit the nozzle and shut off the pump, I will definitely be more cautious after reading this, I don't wear a lot of protection, shorts and short sleeves and sneakers and full face helmet, but I'll definitely keep my visor closed if I can and the anti-fog works.

Sorry to hear about you and the bike, nothing like the pain of a burn, and I've never had 3rd degree burns, I'm not really sure what the degrees are but I just probably had first degree, just the skin, comes with the job, Boiler operator, mostly steam or steam pipe burns 🥵 but I heard a guy lecture about his burns on 80% of his body, I think he was working with methanol and he had it all over him and it ignited off his truck he had running, he told stories of the burn center, WOW that's horrible, they put him in a clorinated tank and had to peel skin every day, I feel for you brother, hope you have a speedy full recovery. And thanks I'll definitely be more aware like you have to be on a bike cause you just have to, you all know what that's about, seems like everyday something happens on the road, be careful don't be road kill, and "LIVE TO RIDE" Hope to see you out there soon!!! And thanks 😊
 
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