EAST FRANKLIN TWP — A woman received serious burns over much of her body this morning when she apparently intentionally set herself on fire at a gasoline pump in the Franklin Village Shopping Center, authorities said.
The 51-year-old woman from Ford City appeared to have third-degree burns over 75 percent of her body, said Chief Mark Fenney of the East Franklin Township Volunteer Fire Department.
“She was very badly burned,” Feeney said.
East Franklin Township Police Sgt. William Evans said the burns were to her body and limbs but not her face.
Police did not immediately identify the woman, who is believed to be employed as a pharmacist or pharmacist's technician.
Investistigators said the woman caught fire shortly after 11 a.m. after driving to the pumps in front of the Shop 'n Save supermarket.
A truck driver, meanwhile, who was filling the station's fuel tanks, suffered minor burns when he rushed to help the woman.
Authorities credited him with possibly saving the woman's life and maybe averting a castastrophe.
“He saw her running between the pumps on fire and hit the emergeny shut-off switch,” Evans said.
The woman told rescuers what happened was an accident.
“She told us she spilled gas on herself while attempting to light a cigarette,” Evans said.