A car backed into a gas pump at the Ballard 76 gas station early Monday morning, knocking the pump to the ground and sparking a fire. “My clerk went outside, shut off the pumps and called 911,” explained owner Bobby Sangar. “If we were one or two minutes later, it could have blown up the whole place.” Firefighters arrived at the scene along 15th Ave. and 57th St. minutes later, dousing the remaining flames.
Video from a security camera shows a red Surburban slamming into the pump and driving away. “I’m sure he knew that it caught on fire,” Sangar said, explaining that a friend of the clerk — seen running in the video — yelled at the driver. “And still, he did not stop.”
Sangar posted the links to two YouTube clips from the gas station’s security cameras in the My Ballard forum. One clip shows the collision (above), the other shows a man inside the store buying a pack of cigarettes. “There was only one customer at the time,” Sangar said. “We need to find this guy.”
A nearby Seattle Police officer arrived less than a minute after the incident, and Sangar says he took a report but has yet to follow up on the case. My Ballard has reached out to Seattle Police for more details on the investigation. As far as we know, the customer in the video is not suspected of any crime.
While insurance is covering the cost of replacing the pump, Sanger said the collision damaged underground pipes, which forced him to close all the pumps since the incident. “It’s costing me a lot of money,” he said. “We’re losing a lot of business.” Workers are busy today with repairs, and Sangar expects some of the pumps will get back up and running this weekend. The store remains open.