Gasoline prices probably go up for a reason… so people can’t afford washing clothes with it anymore.

A?St. Paul man is thankful to be alive tonight, after his washing machine exploded this morning in his basement.

Glenn Johnson of St. Paul put gasoline?in his?machine to clean some greasy clothing.?Johnson says he’s done this for 25 years to break up grease stains.

He puts detergent, water and a little gasoline together and after what happened this morning, he says he’ll never do it again.

“I’ve done it a hundred times before,” Johnson tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS. “This is the first time it ever exploded on me.”

Johnson is a mechanic and says it’s a trick his father taught him years ago.?He was only supposed to use a little bit of gasoline however, he admits he may have overdone it.

The St. Paul Fire Department says after he put the gas in the washing machine, the vapors dispersed through the?building.?Then they found an ignition source, probably the hot water heater.

Johnson said he saw a ball of fire coming up from the drain and hit him directly on his body.?It burnt both of his legs and the force of the blast blew him out of the laundry room.

Dazed,?Johnson says he got up and went back into the laundry room to put out the fire, neighbors called 9-1-1.

Warnings are printed all around the washing machine about putting flammable materials the machine.?When 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked?Johnson?about the warnings, he said he had no idea they were there.

Now,?Johnson said that is the last time he will do that, and he says he’s learned his lesson the hard way.

Johnson?works on the transmissions of?cars throughout his yard, which neighbors consider to be eyesores and would like removed. They hope the landlord will make some changes.

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  1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t detergent/soap + gasoline called something like NAPALM?! No wonder it blew up.

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