Maryland car erupts in flames after driver smokes cigarette while using hand sanitizer, officials say

One good health habit combined with one bad health habit ignited a fiery car blaze in Maryland Thursday. 

During the coronavirus pandemic, bottles of hand sanitizer have become commonplace in motor vehicles. But at the Rockville Pike, Federal Plaza Shopping Center, one driver was sanitizing his hands while smoking a cigarette. According to DC-based all news radio WTOP citing Montgomery County Fire and Rescue, embers from the man’s cigarette “lit a handful of hand-sanitizer.”

The driver suffered non-life-threatening first- and second-degree burns on his hands and inner-thighs as the car was quickly engulfed in flames. 

Paramedics on-scene took the driver to a local hospital.   

Every pack of cigarettes sold in the U.S. features this imprint: “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy.”

Hand sanitizer offers no health warnings. 

The car was totaled from the fire, which happened about 20 miles north of Washington, D.C.

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