Fuel thrown on Glen Arm bonfire, seriously burning 2 men at party

Man threw can of nitrous oxide into flames

November 01, 2010|By Liz F. Kay, The Baltimore Sun

Two men were seriously burned at a northeast Baltimore County party when someone sprayed a form of fuel on a bonfire, according to the Baltimore County Fire Department.

Fire investigators said a group of people were standing around a fire pit in a driveway of a home in the 11500 block of Wallace Drive at about 3:15 a.m. Sunday when the flames started to die down.

Witnesses later told police that Nicholas Hamel, 20, tried to reignite the fire with nitro fuel, which is used to power remote control cars.

"It caused a large fireball that ignited him," said Baltimore County Police spokesman Michael Hill, setting Hamel's clothes and body on fire.

A friend of Hamel's family disputed the account Monday, saying someone else sprayed the fire and dropped the fuel can after the stream ignited, splashing Hamel with the fuel.

Another man, Robert Barnard, 19, was burned when he attempted to extinguish Hamel's flames.

Both were flown to the burn center at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for treatment.

Hamel was in critical condition Monday. Barnard was in good condition, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

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