Explosion destroys Lochearn house; second blast in two days in Baltimore County

An explosion leveled a Lochearn-area home Tuesday afternoon, damaging neighboring homes and spewing debris in the street, Baltimore County fire officials said. It was the second blast in two days in Baltimore County.

The home was vacant, and no injuries were reported, fire officials said. The cause remains under investigation.

Firefighters were called at 2:12 p.m. to the 7400 block of Remoor Road for an explosion and two-alarm blaze at the single-family home, the Fire Department said.

Five neighboring homes were also damaged, fire officials said. Firefighters and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews were checking all homes in the area for damage and dangerous gases, the department said.

As a precaution, BGE shut off electricity and gas service to several homes in the immediate area. Service will be restored once inspections are complete, said BGE spokesman Justin Mulcahy. Crews continued to canvass the area Tuesday evening “out of an abundance of caution,” he said

“The main thing right now is to mitigate any dangers that exist on that block,” said Fire Department spokeswoman Elise Armacost. “Our fire crews have been going to all the homes on that block looking for any damage” to make sure there is “no emergent danger for those folks right now.”

Michelle Britt said they explosion blew her out of bed.

Britt, who lives behind the house that exploded, works night shifts at a pediatric hospital and said she was taking a nap before her children returned home from school.

“I ended up on the floor,” Britt said, “face down on the floor.”

At first, Britt said, she thought the boom she heard was an earthquake. When she looked out the window, she thought the debris floating to the ground was snow. Only when she had corralled her niece, who was home at the time, and the family dog outside did she realize what had happened, she said.

The explosion knocked pictures off the walls of her home, blew out a window and blasted the basement door to the backyard off its hinges, she said.

BGE workers shut off her electricity and gas, and told her she had a gas leak. Britt expected the gas leak to be fixed Tuesday evening, but she won’t be able to return home right away.

First, an inspector must come to assess whether the house suffered any structural damage that would render it unsafe.

Armacost said the explosion is not related to two explosions and a fire that heavily damaged a single-family home in the Baltimore Highlands community on Monday.

A 46-year-old man was injured when the second, more intense of two explosions occurred in the basement of a home in the 2800 block of Virginia Ave., the department said. The victim was being treated at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and is expected to recover.

In that fire, the victim’s older brother got out of the house after the first explosion and was evaluated at the scene by EMS personnel but was not taken to a hospital, fire officials said.

The cause in that incident also remains under investigation.

Baltimore Sun reporter Sarah Gantz contributed to this article.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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