Video: Race crew member from Minnesota caught in pit fire


This dramatic video shows a fire erupting in the pit area of the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond Friday night, and one of the crew members who was caught in the flames is from Minnesota.

Anthony O'Brien of Cambridge is on the crew of driver Brendan Gaghan, according to FOX 9.

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Gaghan had come into the pit for service during a yellow flag on lap 111, and just before he left the stall, a spark triggered a full-scale fire near the left rear corner of the car.

O'Brien was just finishing a change of the left rear tire, right under the fuel nozzle, when the fire started, according to

Both he and the crewman filling the gas tank scrambled out of the way when the fire started. O'Brien jumped over the pit wall, while still on fire, and a crewman in a nearby pit stall covered him on the ground to smother the flames, NASCAR reports.

O'Brien and the two other men were treated at a local hospital. O'Brien remains hospitalized in good condition; the other two have been released, according to NASCAR.

Crew members are required to wear fireproof suits and helmets, FOX 9 notes.

Shane Wilson, crew chief for Gaughan, said the fire was caused by a malfunction on the head of the gas can, which prevented the nozzle from sealing properly. He told NASCAR that the faulty equipment will be examined further in the coming days.

He added that the team would also look at video footage of the incident to see if any other factors contributed to the fire.

Gaughan continued the race and finished 11th.

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