NewsPinellas County


Woman killed in fire at Palm Harbor gas station days before Christmas

Posted at 3:07 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 14:48:25-05

PALM HARBOR, Fla. — A woman is dead following a fire at a Palm Harbor gas station Wednesday afternoon.

According to East Lake Fire Rescue, around 2:08 p.m., firefighters responded to a structure fire at a Shell Gas Station located at 3470 East Lake Drive.

When firefighters arrived, they found a gas pump and vehicle engulfed in flames, and immediately put out the fire.

"I heard the boom," Sebastian Tague, who was working near the gas station at the time of the explosion, said. "By the time I went out there the gas pump and the car was just completely burnt to a crisp."

Florida Highway Patrol said a 66-year-old woman backed into a gas pump. The impact caused the gas pump to overturn onto a woman pumping gas. FHP said the victim was pinned between the gas pump and her vehicle and was killed in the incident.

"A lot of people were standing there with their hands over their mouths. A lot of people were holding each other," Tague said. "It was just a really surreal moment."

According to FHP, a Good Samaritan helped the victim's two children try and fight the fire. When he saw the fire was uncontrollable, he moved the children, ages 11 and 14, away from the fire. The children were in the vehicle when it caught fire, then left when they tried to save their mother.


East Lake, Safety Harbor, Oldsmar and Palm Harbor Fire Rescue responded to the structure fire incident.

The incident is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol.

Kelsey Morris, who was in the Target parking lot across the street with her mother, told ABC Action News, "As we pulled into the parking lot, we saw a couple of individuals running toward the gas station screaming. We weren’t sure what was happening until we turned into the lot and saw that there was a small fire across the street at the pump. We pulled into a parking spot and began filming not realizing there was anyone still in the vehicle. When we first pulled in, we saw what we assume were employees running toward the fire with fire extinguishers. After a while, we could hear the tires and gas tank explode as the fire continued and began to engulf the car. Soon after that is when the police and fire rescue came to the scene."