Police in New York City are hoping someone in the public will recognize a man seen on camera starting a fire at a Staten Island gas station early Monday morning.
Video shows the moment the massive fireball ignites.
A 21-year-old man was injured in the fire, police said Wednesday.
Gerard Lara, the victim, told NBC 4 New York he heard a bang that sounded like “metal on metal” followed by a flame about 10 seconds later. He said his immediate reaction was to duck behind his car.
“I could’ve passed out,” he said. “I could’ve died.”
Lara suffered internal bleeding and hurt lungs as a result, NBC reported.
Video posted to social media by the NYPD shows the suspect spraying gasoline onto the concrete surrounding a gas pump and into a red jerry can.
He lights a piece of paper on fire and leans forward, placing it into the spilled gasoline. In the video, the gasoline quickly ignites and flames are seen leaping into the air — causing the suspect to stumble backwards.
Lara told NBC that, although unable to see through the thick smoke and firestop foam, he managed to find his way inside the gas station store where he collapsed, coughing up blood.
The video released by police shows the gas station’s fire suppression system activate.
As the flames are doused by foam, the suspect flees the scene.