An 18-year-old Waterville man spent Christmas at home recovering after being badly burned by a gasoline fire that ignited while he worked under a car in the garage of his grandparents’ Pittston home.

Jacob Ashline suffered second-degree burns to his arms and hands — injuries that he believes would have been more severe if he hadn’t dived into a pile of snow so soon after the fire started. “I’m feeling pretty lucky. It could have been much worse,” Ashline said Saturday.

Ashline, a senior at Waterville Senior High School and an automotive technology student at Mid-Maine Technical Center, was using a drop light — a single-bulb lamp on an extension cord — while changing the car’s fuel filter Thursday afternoon.

When he unhooked the fuel line, cold gasoline started spraying everywhere, he said.

“I just remember hearing the light break and seeing I was on fire,” Ashline said. “I don’t know how I did it, but I got out from under that car as fast as I could.”

Ashline’s girlfriend, 17-year-old Teresa Brown, was in the garage with him and opened the garage door right after she saw the flames. Ashline ran out and “jumped face first into the snow,” he said. He lay there for about 30 seconds before getting up to help put the fire out.

“I didn’t think I was burned that bad,” Ashline said.

Soon after standing, however, he collapsed and started shaking. He said his eyes were rolling into the back of his head, but his aunt kept talking to him to keep him from going into shock.

“I remember all of it. It was just a very scary experience,” he said.

Gardiner Rescue took Ashline to Pittston Consolidated School, where a LifeFlight helicopter was waiting to take him to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.