Habersham man charged in gas station blast that severely burned wife

A northeast Georgia man has been arrested for allegedly causing an explosion and fire at a Habersham County gas station that severely burned his wife.

Austin Dawkins, 37, of Clarkesville, was arrested late Friday night, and has been charged with one count of reckless conduct, according to state Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.

Hudgens said in a statement that Dawkins was fueling his pickup truck at the Gulf Food Mart on Grant Street in Clarkesville on Oct. 16 when security video captured him igniting a cigarette lighter near his gas tank, causing a fuel vapor explosion.

Dawkins’ wife, Jessica, was standing next to her husband at the time, and suffered second- and third-degree burns to her legs, arms, back and head, according to Hudgens.

Jessica Dawkins, 30, was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, and released 11 days later.

Austin Dawkins sustained minor burns to his hands.

Hudgens said Monday that Austin Dawkins was being held in the Habersham County Jail.