By Rachael Cardin

EDGEWOOD, Md. (WJZ) — An explosion throws a man from his home and three homes on the street go up in flames. It happened along Thornberry Drive Sunday evening. The homeowner was sent to Johns Hopkins Bayview for treatment of his burn injuries.

Fred Farlow lives a street away from the explosion site and said the blast he heard was the loudest sound he has ever experienced. “The boom like deafened your ears in the house, the whole house shook,” he said.

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Farlow said cereal boxes got knocked off his counter and when we walked into the kitchen to put them back, he looked out the window at a massive fire. “I could see through my kitchen window this big 40-foot flame shooting up in the air or behind the trees.”

He said the sight was scary but the sounds were terrifying. “I ran outside and in my backyard, you could actually hear all the debris falling, people screaming ‘get out the house, get out of the house, get out of the house now!’”

Oliver Alkire from the Office of The State Fire Marshal said, “we know there are reports out on social media that this gentleman may have been doing some work on his stove but they have not confirmed what caused the blast.” BGE was in the area throughout the night and much of Monday, they said their equipment was not to blame.

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The homeowner is in critical but stable condition.  “He has pretty serious burns from both his upper body, both his arms, his head and such. He’s an extremely lucky individual,” said Alkire.

Farlow said debris covered the road. People could not see through the thick smoke and they walked around with their hands over their mouths. He said children were crying and many were afraid the two dogs owned by the injured man died in the fire. The two dogs were recovered on Monday and no other injuries have been reported.

As the smoke clears, what is left is humbling. “Then once the fog stopped, about two hours later, you could see it from the corner down there. All you could see was just a skeleton of the house, that was it,” said Farlow.

A man in the house next door, Henry Schwartzman, told WJZ he was knocked from his couch. “Over there I’m sitting, and the boom knocked me off the sofa,” he said. He ran through the house to get his wife. “I see smoke, flames and fire just shooting up so we got out right away.”

To see his neighbor’s house now, Schwartzman said, “that one looks just like this, three bedrooms, garage, living room, utility room, kitchen, bath.”

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Updates on the cause will be released by the State Fire Marshal whenever they have completed their investigation.

Rachael Cardin