The incident was
He says it happened in Bellevue, Wash., where Derrick Walker had just started squeezing the gas hose's handle to fuel his Ferrari, when the area was completely enveloped in fire.
"I'm 34 years old. I had no idea I was that quick," remarked Walker, whose reflexes were just fast enough to save his own skin, even though he appeared to be blasted right out of view.
But Walker says he could feel it coming, almost as if it was in slow motion: "All of a sudden, I could feel the heat. I could see it. I could see the flames coming up, and I lost all my breath. It just disappeared from me."
Walker reacted, leaping backward, right out of the flash of exploding fumes.
"And then," he continued, "you see it surround me. You see it completely surround me."
At first, Walker thought he was burning, along with his car: "I was checking myself out, thinking, 'I gotta be on fire.' But I wasn't."
The rare 1977 308 Ferrari was totaled, but the fire would've been worse, had the store's owner not leaped in with a fire extinguisher and pulled the burning gasoline nozzle out.
"He's a pretty tough old guy, I think, 'cause he stepped right in there," Walker says.
It took seconds to ruin the classic collector's car, but Walker's amazed he's alive to tell the story.
"I can replace the car. It's no big deal. I mean, it is a big deal. It's gonna hurt a little bit, but I'm fine. That's the big deal for me."