Columbia explosion, fire causes estimated $2M in damage

25 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Authorities are investigating cause of explosion and fire at townhomes in Howard County.

COLUMBIA, Md. Residents of the Clary’s Forest community stood outside the wreckage Thursday morning in Columbia, gazing at the shattered remains of an explosion the night before that left six townhouses uninhabitable and an estimated $2 million in damage, according to Howard County fire officials.COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — Authorities in Maryland say at least six townhouses are uninhabitable after an explosion and fire that injured a gas worker investigating a reported leak and a person in one home.

As gutters and windowpanes thrown from the blast occasionally fell from the trees, shards of glass that once covered the entire cul-de-sac were sparse, but pieces the size of dollar bills still hid in neighbors’ lawns, crunching under the boots of firefighters. Rescue workers retrieved burnt scraps and belongings from some of the homes as cleanup crews cleared debris blocking one driveway, making room for a green Jeep Grand Cherokee that survived the blast, albeit with cracked windows and melted headlights and taillights. And between the water, smoke and fire damage, pretty much everything is a total loss.” The incident began about 7:30 p.m. in the 12000 block of Sleepy Horse Lane.

Howard County firefighters spent more than three hours Wednesday night extinguishing the blaze, which started at sundown with an explosion that some likened to a bomb blast and others thought was an earthquake. A spokeswoman said the organization, which responds to disasters in the region, was sheltering the residents. “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.” Six units — the house that exploded, two townhouses to the left, and three to the right — were deemed uninhabitable by inspectors, according to Hogg. Bamberger 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. Another person who lived in the townhouses was in stable condition after being treated for smoke inhalation, according to Maria Hogg, a spokeswoman for the fire department.

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