Over 500 Cars Filled Up With Free Gas in Norwood Friday

Ernie Boch Jr. originally said the event would cost him about $30,000, but that was before he extended the promotion Friday morning

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More than 7,000 gallons of free gas was guzzled up in a matter of hours Friday morning at the Irving station on Route 1 in Norwood, Massachusetts.

Auto dealer Ernie Boch Jr. pledged to give away a total of 7,000 gallons of gas Friday as part of his “April Fuel’s Day,” promotional event. But when the gas station reached the initial limit in under two hours, Boch decided to extend his promotion. He ended up picking up the tab for more than 500 cars in just over three hours.

People lined up overnight to fill up their tanks for free as prices remain high. One person got in line as early as 9:30 p.m. Thursday. The line didn't start at the gas station, however. Employees wouldn't let people line up at the gas station that early, so many were staged in a nearby parking lot overnight.

The businessman and philanthropist paid for up to $75 per tank for each car or truck that came through. The promotion was set to run between the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. Friday, but the gas was gone before 9 a.m. Bock originally said the event would cost about $30,000, but that was before he extended the promotion to allow people to continue to fill up for free.

Boch said, “Absolutely difficult times, gasoline is essential in my industry, in the automotive industry, so I’m trying to give back, trying to have some fun.”

People drove from near and far to fill up on Bock’s dime. Seeing the price per gallon roll back to zero felt like winning the lottery to some.

Kemoy Davis of Dedham said, “It’s too much right now, but the fact that he’s helping out, it helps, every little bit counts.”

“It means a lot, it really does, and I was on dead empty over there,” said Grace Kurps of Norwood.

Stanley Earl of Stoughton said, “I’m going to fill it all up, so I’m happy with it!”

“Free, free, free, thank God!” laughed David Alistair, who lined up before dawn.

Patrick Haines of Medfield said, “I was the first person here, I got here at 9:30, actually.”

“I’ve never experienced anything like it, it’s great, it’s great," Patrick Haines of Medfield said. "The gas has been eating at everybody’s wallet, including mine and I mean, this is kind of like giving back all the extra money you spent on it you know.”

“It costs me like $250 bucks a month, so I’m taking the opportunity, I’m coming from North Attleboro," Mike McKeon said.

Garner Willis of Plymouth said, “It’s such a great promotion and this is the type of thing that pulls the community together.”

One person got in line as early as 9:30 p.m. Thursday for “April Fuel’s Day,” a promotion to give away thousands of gallons of gasoline Friday morning.
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