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Gas Grill Catches Fire, Destroying 2 Homes In Timonium

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Ritchie Rochelle 175x131 L Rochelle Ritchie
Rochelle Ritchie joined WJZ Eyewitness News in June 2012. Prio...
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TIMONIUM, Md. (WJZ) — A fire breaks out in an upscale Baltimore County community, quickly spreading to another home.

Rochelle Ritchie has more from a neighbor who took action.

Baltimore County firefighters say it was an enjoyable holiday gathering of family members that turned tragic in the blink of an eye.

Towering flames shoot through the roof of a Baltimore County home. A WJZ viewer captures the fire as it spreads rapidly on Dunloy Court Sunday evening.

“Flames were just pouring out the top of the roof,” said Mark Fitzgerald.

The flames are so powerful, the fire spreads just as fast as it started.

“It appears that they were cooking on the grill, some type of grill fire spread to the adjacent home,” said Lt. Jay Ringgold, Baltimore County Fire Department.

Baltimore County firefighters were called to the home after they say a gas grill caught fire during a family cookout.

“They said they heard like a whooshing sound and the fire spread rapidly, so it leads to believe that propane did accelerate the fire,” Ringgold said.

One man who lives across the street says he heard a woman outside screaming on the phone. He says neighbors went into quick action to help.

“We went over to try to help. We got the cars out of the garages and the firemen came,” said John Kenny. “I opened the gates and the police officers were here, they were here fairly promptly, and they began taking care of the fire.”

Because of the intensity of the fire from that propane tank, firefighters say the fire was very difficult to put out.

“Once you have a fuel fed fire, it’s really hard to extinguish. Because until that fuel is burned out, it’s going to continue to feed the fire,” Ringgold said.

Spectators say they are glad everyone made it out alive, but hate to see a joyous family occasion turn to ashes.

“That’s horrible, that’s absolutely horrible, especially on Easter Sunday,” said Denny Shaw.

Witnesses say watching the homes burn is a tragic reminder to keep a close eye on their grills this summer.

“You just never know. You just always got to be safe when you use a gas grill. Things happen so fast,” Fitzgerald said.

A Baltimore County firefighter did receive minor injuries during the fire.

Fire officials say a third home was also damaged.

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