Security cameras captured the man crawling on the ground during the bizarre arson attempt in Chippendale.
The service station attendant said he spotted the man on his knees, armed with a petrol pump.
“Then he showed me a lighter and I said, ‘why are you doing this,’ and he started yelling, ‘call an ambulance, I’ll light the place up’,” attendant Syed Abbas said.
Moments later lit the bowser on fire and crawled away, but he wasn’t finished wreaking havoc.
He moved towards a second bowser when the attendant tried to intervene.
“I sort of ran back to him to get the fire extinguisher, but he threatened to put fuel on me,” the attendant said.
With a fuel pump in both hands and a fire still burning, the man continued to pour fuel recklessly, before a bowser erupted into a fireball.
Minutes later police and paramedics arrived.
“I’m just glad nobody got hurt,” petrol station owner Evan Hansimikali said.
“You don’t want to see a situation where somebody gets seriously hurt or dies, God forbid.”
The man is undergoing a mental health assessment and is under police guard in hospital.
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