Update April 14, 11:27 p.m. Suffolk County Police Department reported that a man who suffered burns in a vehicle fire was trying to kill bedbugs.
According to police, the 44-year-old Bridgehampton man told officers at 5:05 p.m. he had bedbugs in the car, which was a rental from Florida, and someone advised him that if he saturated the bugs with alcohol, it would kill them.
“He purchased rubbing alcohol and poured it in the car then and he sat in his car and lit a cigarette,” police said. The vehicle caught on fire and the man was able to escape without assistance. He suffered first- and second-degree burns.
Police added that the vehicle was burned so badly that the license plates were gone.
A man suffered burns in a fire inside a car at the parking lot of the King Kullen and Rite Aid shopping center in Eastport on Tuesday evening.
The man, who was conscious and alert, was airlifted via Suffolk County Police medevac helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital, according to police. The flames from the car spread to two adjacent parked vehicles, a Dodge Caravan and a Dodge Durango, destroying both.
April Goss of Remsenburg, the owner of the Caravan, said she was at the pharmacy counter in Rite Aid when she saw the smoke and ran outside.
“I was going to back my car out but they said, ‘No,'” Goss said. “So my car just took off next and then his car burnt up.”
The Durango owner, Rachael Benson of Manorville, was in King Kullen when the fire started. When she got outside, there was a spectacle in the parking lot. “There were firetrucks and police cars everywhere,” she said.
It was only the car and the Caravan that were on fire, then the car exploded, blowing into her Durango, Benson said.
Eastport Fire Department extinguished the flames. Both Suffolk County and Southampton Town police responded to the scene, as well as a fire marshal. Suffolk arson investigators were looking into the fire.