4 burned in explosion at Taneytown home Resident, 3 firefighters hurt in blast during blaze

September 03, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

A Taneytown man and three firefighters were burned when unidentified chemicals exploded during a fire Sunday night at the man's home, a Carroll County government spokeswoman said.

Union Bridge volunteer firefighter Christopher Scott Harris, 26, and Taneytown resident Donald Shantz were flown by state police helicopter to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore.

Harris suffered burns to his face and 25 percent of his body. Shantz suffered burns to his face and 10 percent of his body. A hospital spokeswoman said both men were in satisfactory condition last night.

Firefighters were called to the Shantz home in the 2500 block of Roop Road shortly after 9 p.m. to battle a one-alarm fire. The fire, which was contained in one room, apparently had been brought under control by the time the explosion occurred.

"When [firefighters] were going through the house, they found chemicals and threw them out," said Cindy Parr, a Carroll County government spokeswoman. "As the ground crew was raking through the area, they hit the chemicals, causing the explosion."

Two other firefighters suffered facial burns and other injuries in the explosion. They were treated for minor burns and released.

Fire officials had not determined last night what chemicals caused the blast. A hazardous materials unit from Frederick County, a bomb technician from the state fire marshal's office and an investigator from the Maryland Department of the Environment were reviewing the incident.

Pub Date: 9/03/96

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