Bedford gas station estimates 3 weeks of repairs before selling fuel again

BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ7)-- The Shell station in Bedford on Longwood Ave. was still taped off Wednesday night and it likely will be for about three more weeks, according to a regional manager of the station.

The Bedford Fire Department responded to a call Monday at the gas station that they don't always see: a fuel pump on fire.

Intense flames engulfed the car and pump, destroying both. Fire officials said a driver backed into the pump, knocking it over, creating a fuel leak and sparking an unlikely fire.

"It's rare. It's not uncommon for people to strike or they suffer damage, but for them to actually then burst into flames and have a fire, that is uncommon," said Chief of Bedford County Fire and Rescue Jack Jones.

After the town's fire department put out the fire in about four minutes, the county's Hazmat team went to the site to address environmental concerns.

"Product would just stay on the ground and get into a storm drain or sewer drain. We can't allow any of that," said Jones. "So all of that needs to be cleaned up and properly disposed of. "

A day after the fire, the clean-up was complete, but a lot of work has to be done before customers can gas up again.

The Office of Weights and Measures with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is in charge of inspecting all fuel pumps and making sure they are working properly. According to a spokesperson for the department, the station in Bedford was actually just cleared in February.

Because of the fire, the owners of the stop have hired an outside service to get the remaining pumps up and working again. According to VDACS, the outside service will inspect the equipment and put the pumps back on line.

The private service will inform the state office that the work is complete and a VDACS inspection team will not have to go out to the pumps again unless there are future issues that arise.

A regional manager of the Stop-in/Shell location on Longwood said the pumps not affected should be back on line and serving fuel in about three weeks.

As always, if consumers experience problems at the pump they are encouraged to contact the Office of Weights and Measures and file a complaint. Their general information phone number is 804-786-2476.