Originally Posted by Stein
Right or wrong, had he not done it the place would have been a smoking hole.
The way I saw it, the contents of the can wound up on the floor anyway.
At 0:56, just after pulling the hose out of the fuel can, he actually did grab it by the handle as if he were going to pick it up, but then he put it back down and went back to blowing on the flames.
If he had picked up the fuel can at THAT TIME and carried it a safe distance away without spillage, then the situation would not have escalated much further beyond the subsequent ignition of the fuel dripping out of the hose which he left dangling. He certainly would not have sustained severe burns, now would the fire have grown very much more.
Instead, he waits until 1:09, after the fuel can itself catches on fire, to grab it. In doing so, most if not all of the fuel appears to slosh out of the can, and it is act that which leads both to the severe burns as well as the subsequent massive escalation of the fire.
In other words, I don't think it would have mattered much whether he left the can sitting on the car to burn in place vs. picking it up and pouring its contents out onto himself and the floor.