3 injured in Pigtown explosion, fire department says

Published on: November 22, 2022 3:16 PM EST|Updated on: November 23, 2022 8:27 AM EST

Two firefighters walk by the scene of a home that exploded in Southwest Baltimore Tuesday afternoon.

Three people were injured Tuesday in an explosion in Southwest Baltimore, the Baltimore City Fire Department said.

Assistant Fire Chief Roman Clark said two females, ages 16 and 48, and a male, 70, were injured. They are all in serious condition. The females were taken to the burn center and the male was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

“One house collapsed completely, we have an adjacent house that may have structural damage,” he said. “We are looking into that at this time.”

The man was walking by the house and tried to assist the two females, Clark said.

The cause of the incident is still under investigation, Clark said. Crews responded to the scene near the intersection of Bayard and Sargeant streets about 2 p.m.

Workers from Baltimore Gas and Electric Company were also on the scene responding to the incident.

In a statement, a spokesperson for BGE said the utility company turned off service to 1121 and 1123 Bayard St.

“Once the location is deemed safe for access, we will assist Baltimore City Fire Department in its investigation as to the cause of the incident,” said Jane Ballentine, a senior communications specialist for the company. “BGE completed upgrades in October to the gas main that services the 1100 block of Bayard Street.”

City building inspectors will look at the four homes next to the house that collapsed, Clark said.

Part of the house on Bayard Street was reduced to a pile of bricks and wood.

Shards of glass and pieces of windows lay in Carroll Park across the street, as firefighters and other officials crowded around the house.

Violet Ruby, who lives a few houses down, said she was eating at the time of the explosion.

“It threw me out of my chair,” she said. “The whole house shook.”

Ruby initially thought someone had hit a house with a vehicle. She went outside and found the house down the street had already collapsed “and was gone,” she said.

She could hear a woman under the rubble screaming, “Help me! Help me!”

Ruby is not sure whether there’s any damage to her own home.

Michael Benowskyj was sitting on the steps outside his house when he looked down the street and heard a boom as the roof blew off his neighbor’s home down the block.

He felt the shockwave, and shortly after, felt a second boom as the wall of the house started to collapse.

“That’s when I saw the lady run out the back door with her hair still on fire,” he said.

“She was burnt from head to toe,” he continued, “her clothes were all ripped to shreds and tattered.”