By Rick Ritter

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A frightening ordeal, as a fire pit explosion rocks a Baltimore County neighborhood, leaving one family injured, including a 2-year-old girl.

That family involved is very shaken up, and one family member, who only wanted to be identified as Kathleen, says she had just gone inside the house when that fire was started, but minutes later, it sounded like a bomb went off.

As a mother and grandmother, Kathleen is at a loss for words.

The outside of her Monkton home was covered in crime scene tape after her family was rocked by an explosion.

“It rocked the place, it rocked my neighbor’s house, and they came running over,” she said.

The call came in at 9 p.m. Sunday, about an explosion along JM Pearce Rd.

Investigators say a 65-year-old man and his 38-year-old son, along with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, turned the drum of a washing machine into a fire pit.

Moments later, it exploded, leaving the entire neighborhood on edge.

“I put the kids down to bed and heard a loud boom, and it was like a cannon going off,” said neighbor Chuck Sabia.

The father and son were flown to Shock Trauma with serious injuries, while the mother and daughter were transported to a nearby hospital. The mother and daughter are expected to be okay.

Their grandmother, just feet away from the explosion itself, spoke only to WJZ’s Rick Ritter.

“It sounded like somebody set off a bomb, and there was horrible black smoke. It was terrible,” Kathleen said.

She also gave an update on her son’s injuries.

“He’s in surgery, been there since 7:30 [Monday] morning with injuries to lower body, bleeding profusely,” she said.

Early reports indicate the victims used an accelerant to light the fire, causing it to explode.

“Usually, when we see these kinds of terrible accidents, it’s because of some kind of explosion involving an accelerant,” said Elise Armacost, with Baltimore County Police & Fire.

While the frightening moments will haunt the family forever, Monday night, they count their blessings.

“It could’ve been a whole lot worse,” Sabia said. “Luckily, no one died.”

Police do not believe any foul play was involved. No charges are being filed at this time, but it’s still an active investigation.

With colder temperatures in the months ahead, officials are urging people to only use actual fire pits that are UL rated, and to only light them with matches.

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