A gas station attendant is being credited with helping avert a major disaster after a gas pump caught fire in Ottawa's east end.

The fire ignited when a tanker truck clipped a pump at the Ultramar gas station on Montreal Road near St. Laurent Boulevard at about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday. The gas pump and a nearby van quickly went up in flames.

A gas station attendant saw what happened and hit an emergency shut-off valve to stop the supply of gas to the pump before the situation got out of control.

"Obviously, through all that chaos and panic, he managed to know exactly what to do," said Marc Messier, spokesperson for Ottawa Fire Services.

The driver of the minivan who was refueling his vehicle at the time managed to escape without injury.

The gas station will be closed for at least a few days until the pump can be fixed.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Karen Soloman