An elementary-aged child is dead after an explosion at an East Baltimore rowhouse. Authorities say that the victim, an 8-year-old boy, suffered catastrophic personal injury when he was struck by debris from the exploding structure. That child did not live in the home that was destroyed. Two other adults who were in the home were also injured, as was a child who was outside the building.
Authorities say they are still working to identify the cause of the fire that caused the explosion. Baltimore utilities companies assisted with the investigation, which may have been related to gas or electric lines. The fire and subsequent blast completely destroyed the home, as a major wall crumbled and two walls collapsed.
Witnesses said that the horrific child injury occurred when the house caught fire, and the blaze spread quickly. Neighborhood residents attempted to rescue people who may have been inside the structure, but their efforts were thwarted by the massive fire. Firefighters arrived minutes after the blaze. After they addressed the fire, they began searching through the debris. They found the body of the decedent about 90 minutes after arriving on the scene.
Cellphone videos show the enormity of the fire, with giant plumes of smoke billowing into the sky. Bricks were scattered on the ground. One witness said it appeared as though the entire kitchen of the home was blasted into the street.
As investigators work to uncover the cause of the blast, a negligent party may be identified. Landlords and utility companies may show carelessness or recklessness by failing to maintain their property and equipment. Victims whose children have suffered personal injury or wrongful death may have legal recourse against these entities; a consultation with a Maryland attorney may allow clients to learn more about their rights.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "8-year-old boy killed walking past E. Baltimore home that caught fire" Jessica Anderson, Feb. 20, 2014