- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A Sunderland vehicle explosion sent one man to the hospital with reports of broken bones, internal injuries and burns Monday afternoon.
At approximately 12:29 p.m., dispatchers received a priority 3 call for “unknown medical with traumatic injuries,” according to the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department’s report of the incident. Six Huntingtown firefighters, joined also by Dunkirk emergency medical responders, were called to a home in the 7150 block of Dorothy Dr. after a homeowner on Trouble Lane advised responders of a possible large explosion that “shook their house and now a column of smoke could be seen in the sky,” the report states.
Units arrived on location and found one vehicle “completely blown apart and fully-involved in fire with a neighboring trailer and truck severely damaged,” the report states. A 46-year-old man was found suffering from flash burns, a broken femur, broken arm and other traumatic internal injuries and was transported by ambulance to Prince George’s Shock Trauma, while the fire was extinguished in about five minutes, according HVFD and an incident report from the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The fire marshal’s report states that an investigation determined the cause of the explosion was due to gasoline vapors in the vehicle’s fuel tank igniting when the victim was cutting off parts of the vehicle for scrap metal. The fire was deemed accidental, and the investigation will continue as the victim’s condition is monitored.
Huntingtown VFD Chief John Riffe, who was first to arrive on the scene, said the man “was in excruciating pain,” and “the explosion completely ripped the car to shrapnel. You would have thought somebody had placed dynamite inside it.”
Riffe said the incident should serve as a reminder to those who work with cars to use caution.
“When you’re working around vehicles and you’re using any type of machinery that’s creating sparks and there are flammable liquids around, that’s definitely a huge safety issue because you can risk the possibility of a flash fire,” Riffe said.
Huntingtown and Dunkirk units were aided by Trooper 7, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police and a fire investigator, according to the HVFD report.