A Seattle police officer stopped a mother from lighting a cigarette near an open gas can in her car at Pike Place Market Friday, likely preventing an explosion that could have killed the woman and her infant daughter strapped in the front seat.

The officer was on bicycle patrol at the time of the incident, around 12:45 in the afternoon. Two market employees told the officer that they saw a car illegally parked with a baby inside. The baby was reportedly strapped in the front seat with an adult seat belt, no child seat. The cars doors were unlocked.

Police say a Seattle woman in her late 20s approached the officer and said the car and the baby were hers. Authorities believe the woman was in the area trying to buy drugs, although she told the officer that she was searching for her uncle.

The gasoline can was open on the floor board of the back seat. The officer smelled the fumes just as the woman began to light a cigarette.

Because the woman did not have a child safety seat or a driver's license, she was not allowed to drive away. She was allowed to take her baby away in a stroller.

The car was ticketed for illegal parking and towed away.

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