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Gary BanningHAVELOCK, N.C. — A man in North Carolina burned to death after he accidentally drank some gasoline and then later lit up a cigarette.

Sometime on Monday, 43-year-old Gary Banning thought whatever was in the  jar sitting by the sink of his friend’s apartment was consumable.

After taking a gulp, he found out that his friend, a mechanic, keeps gasoline in the jar to clean grease off his hands.

Banning spit out the mouthful of gas, getting some of it on his clothing in the process. Banning had not changed his clothes when he went out on the porch later that evening to smoke.

Police believe he dozed off with a lit cigarette, accidentally setting himself on fire. Banning was eventually transported to UNC Burn Center in Chapel Hill with severe burns over 60% of his body. He would die on Tuesday morning.

The apartment where the fire occurred suffered no major damages according to W.K. Preslar, investigator with the Havelock Police Department.

“It was charred as far as the carpet where he was standing,” Preslar said. “But as far as the structure itself, there was no damage.”

In what may come as a big surprise to some of you, police have confirmed that alcohol was involved and possibly drugs.

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