A 29-year-old Buena Park woman suffered second-degree burns on her face when the gasoline she put in a coin-operated washing machine exploded, officials said.
Alma Gomez was washing oil-stained clothes at Monty's Cleaners at 8224 Commonwealth Ave. on Monday when the gasoline fumes were ignited by nearby electrical circuits, causing a "flash," Fire Department Capt. Dennis Childress said.
Gomez suffered burns on her face, arms and legs. She was treated at UCI Medical Center and released. The Laundromat was evacuated after the 3 p.m. explosion because of lingering fumes. Gomez had added gasoline to get the oil out of the clothes, he said, adding that many people mistakenly think gasoline is a cleaning agent.
"It is amazing. The misuse of gasoline is common," he said.
Dr. Bruce Achauer, director of the burn center at UCI Medical Center, said the center treats many people who use gasoline inappropriately. Most gasoline injuries occur when people put gas in their carburetors to start their engines, he said.