Investigators determine BP employee found dead inside burning car intentionally started fire

Posted at 4:27 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 17:36:28-04

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. – Hanover investigators have determined the BP employee found dead in a burning car Monday intentionally started the fire.

This comes after the body of Zaheer R. Mazhar, 37, was found in the burning car at the BP gas station at 7051 Mechanicsville Turnpike.

After an investigation, investigators say Mazhar authorized $200 of gasoline and retrieved a lighter from inside the business to start the blaze.

BP employee found dead in burning car at Hanover gas station

“Mazhar then pumped over 20 gallons of gasoline in the interior, as well as around the vehicle. After Mazhar stopped pumping the fuel, he sat down in the back seat and struck a flame, causing the vehicle to be immediately engulfed in flames,” Hanover Sheriff's Sgt James Cooper said.

Hanover fire crews were called to the Mechanicsville Turnpike gas station at about 11:04 p.m. Monday.

When crews arrived, they found the burning car.

Firefighters worked to contain the flames and prevent them from damaging the building.

BP employee found dead in burning car at Hanover gas station

Once the fire was put out, firefighters found Mazhar's body in the back seat of the car.

Investigators are still investigating the moments leading up to the incident and are working with the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the official cause of death.

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