2 Injured, Multiple Townhouses Catch Fire After Gas Explosion in Columbia

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

2 Injured, Multiple Townhouses Catch Fire After Gas Explosion in Columbia.

WASHINGTON — Two people are injured after a gas explosion completely leveled a townhouse and damaged several other homes in Columbia, Maryland Wednesday night. Honi Bamberger stood outside her destroyed Columbia townhouse Thursday waiting for the wrecking crews after an explosion and three-alarm fire there left two people injured. “Everything is gone,” she said. “The explosion knocked everything off the walls.Gas and electric for the block is shut off after the explosion triggered a three-alarm fire that spread to neighboring homes in the 12000 block of Sleepy Horse Lane and injured two people, fire officials said. “It was horrifying because it was a huge explosion, so it rocked the entire neighborhood,” he said. “There were doors [across the street] that opened. It was something that was almost not describable because I’ve never been in a situation like that.” Those injured were a resident and a Baltimore Gas & Electric worker who had been called to fix the leak in the Clary’s Forest neighborhood, Howard County Fire Chief John Butler said.

A BGE truck was on site, and a spokesperson for the American Red Cross of the Greater Chesapeake Region said the organization is providing shelter for three residents displaced by the explosion and fire. Two townhomes to the left, and three to the right of the townhome that exploded were deemed uninhabitable, Hogg said Thursday morning as crews continued to investigate.

She said she was out for a regular evening walk when she heard what she called a “massive explosion.” She was about a quarter of a mile away from her home and started to run toward it. At sundown Wednesday, Ira Gershman was preparing to break fast with family at his cousin’s residence in Clary’s Forest for Yom Kippur when a relative smelled gas. The family called a BGE employee, who came to investigate the leak. “After two minutes, he said to us, ‘Get everybody out of that house,’” said Gershman. Another person who lived in the townhouses was in stable condition after being treated for smoke inhalation, according to Maria Hogg, a spokeswoman with the fire department. Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said he arrived to find a “pretty dramatic” scene but was glad to see how well it had been handled by emergency responders. “I’m very thankful that we have such well-trained firefighters and police,” he said. “I just want to tell anyone in Howard County that we are lucky to have them here.” “It’s one of the most traumatic things I’ve ever seen in my life.

At least one house was completely destroyed, leaving a gap between trees, and only the shell of several other houses remained, their interiors burnt out.

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