Driver suffers burns after fire caused by hand sanitizer, cigarette combo

Hand sanitizer and a lit cigarettes don’t mix well. Especially inside a car.

A driver suffered non-life-threatening first and second degree burns on his hands and inner-thighs after his car burst into flames caused by the bad combination Thursday in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The incident occurred at around 5:30 p.m. at Federal Plaza shopping center in Rockville, Maryland.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue said the embers from the man’s cigarette lit a handful of hand-sanitizer. The car quickly caught on fire in the middle of the parking lot.

The male driver was able to escape as flames engulfed the vehicle, turning it to a metal skeleton.

Paramedics transported the man to a hospital when he is expected to recover.

A map of the area is below.

Luke Garrett

Luke Garrett is a D.C. native dedicated to journalism. He joined the WTOP newsroom in 2020 after graduating from the University of San Diego, where he studied physics and philosophy.

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