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Man buys a gallon of gas before dumping it near fuel pump and setting fire: Officials

Authorities in California are hoping tips from the public will help them identify a suspect caught on video apparently pouring gasoline near a fuel pump at a Sacramento convenience store and setting it ablaze.

According to Fox News, the incident occurred at a Unocal 76 location on Watt Avenue Saturday morning.

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department confirmed the fire in a tweet later the same day, indicating that the suspect purchased a gallon of gasoline prior to spilling it on the ground and sparking a flame.

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Investigators released images taken from surveillance cameras in hopes that the evidence will lead to the arrest of a suspect.

A clerk at the gas station told local reporters that he witnessed a “huge fire” erupt when he looked out the window into the parking lot.

“He spilled gasoline on the floor on purpose, then set the nozzle up and lit a match to it and set it all on fire, as a man just pulled up to pump gas,” recalled Marichal Brown.

He said the staff focused first on the safety of those on the premises, noting that he soon turned his attention to the growing fire.

“I was afraid that it would activate the pump to explode,” Brown said. “Once we got everyone to safety, I ran back in and grabbed the fire extinguisher.”

He said the blaze was out by the time firefighters arrived and the suspect had run away from the scene.

Fire Captain Chris Vestal said investigators do not know what the suspect’s motives or intentions were, stressing that they “need help in identifying him and locating him to make sure there’s no danger to the community and to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Officials encourage anyone with information related to the incident to contact Metro Fire’s arson tip line by calling 916-859-3775.

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[Featured image: Metro Fire of Sacramento]