A man suffered minor burns after attempting to extinguish a fire that started Friday morning at one of the U-Haul Moving Center’s propane refill stations, the Columbia Fire Department said.
Battalion Chief Gary Warren, Jr. said officials determined the fire was due to “operator error.” Warren also confirmed that the propane cylinder caught fire because it was attached to a hose during a refill, allowing propane to leak into an electric motor. Amerigas, who services U-Haul’s refill stations, sent a representative who explained the hose should not have been connected to the cylinder at the time of the refill, Warren said.
U-Haul employee Josh Carlyon responded quickly to the fire, taming it with a dry-powder extinguisher until University Hospital medics arrived on the scene, Warren said. Carlyon was briefly hospitalized and treated for minor burns on his right forearm, nose and lip and was released Friday afternoon. Local U-Haul representatives declined to discuss the incident.