CHAPEL HILL – A resident of the Pine Gate apartments in Chapel Hill went out to his car Tuesday evening and unexpectedly became a hero to the entire apartment complex.

Chapel Hill Police Lt. Kevin Gunter says when the citizen approached his own car, he saw a rag sticking out of a nearby car’s gas tank that was on fire and took immediate action in a potentially harmful situation.

“The individual said he grabbed some type of pole to knock the rag out of the vehicle and extinguish the rag,” Lt. Gunter says. “According to the witness in this case, the rag was actually burning when he pulled it out of the gas tank, so obviously an extremely dangerous situation.”

Lt. Gunter says the vehicle was being borrowed by a friend. He says the cause of the situation is under investigation.

“We’re looking into the possibility of it being a domestic-related situation involving this incident,” Lt. Gunter says. “So, we’re looking at all the leads possible, and (we’re) in our (initial) discussions with the individual who borrowed the vehicle. This investigation will continue.”

The Pine Gate apartments are located off 15-501 near Lowe’s Home Improvement.