MAYS CHAPEL, Md. - Flames took the focus away from Easter celebrations.
"The sky was filled with smoke," said Birdie Kraus, a neighbor.
They were large flames shooting through the roof and bouncing next door. The homeowner at 610 Dunloy Ct. in Mays Chapel says a minute after turning on his grill Sunday afternoon it caught on fire.
Next door, George Raduano just got home from Easter services at Trinity Assembly of God in Lutherville, where he is a pastor.
"I ran out and got a hose, and there was a fire that was going up, and there was a privacy wall that is plastic and it just melted. And I saw the other deck totally engulfed in flames," said Raduano.
His church family stopped by to offer a prayer and some help.
"Hardwood floors, carpets all destroyed, basement's flooded, so it's destroyed. They said they'd tear down the whole structure," said Raduano.
Memories are gone, but two families are still with us. Kraus says it was her cousin who had minor injuries fighting the fire.
"Overcome with smoke trying to get upstairs, and they brought him outside and he is fine,” said Kraus.
A fence will go up to keep people back from the homes that need to be gutted. Lives are disrupted on a day when Christians have reasons to hope.
"It's a little bit discouraging, but you just have to keep the Easter hope alive and let the real resurrection, you know, you'll get through it," said Raduano.
The Office of the State Fire Marshal offers grilling safety tips, following the weekend fire:
Outdoor Cooking Safety Tips for Gas Grills:
- Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders should always be transported in the upright position on the floor of the vehicle with all windows open. Never transport cylinders in the trunk of a car. Remove the cylinder from the vehicle as soon as possible.
- Ensure all connections are tight. Check all connections with soapy water. The appearance of bubbles indicates leaks, re-tighten leaking connections.
- Make sure grease is not allowed to drip onto the hose or gas cylinder.
- Store the cylinder (including those attached to barbecues), outdoors in a shaded, cool area out of direct sunlight.
- Read thoroughly and follow manufacturer’s instructions for gas grill use. Save the instructions!
Outdoor Cooking Safety Tips for Charcoal Grills:
- Use only a small amount of charcoal starter fuel. A little goes a long way! Consider using charcoal that does not require starter fuel for ignition.
- Once a fire has been started, never add more starter fuel! Fire can easily follow the stream of fluid back to the container causing an explosion and potential serious bodily harm.
- Use great caution in disposing of ashes. Ashes may contain live coals that can start a fire if not disposed of properly. The safest method is to wet the ashes thoroughly with water before disposal.
With any outdoor cooking equipment, never be tempted to use them inside – not even in a garage with the door open or on a porch or a balcony. “Outdoor grills produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas which even in small quantities can cause injury or death. LPG cylinders that develop a leak indoors can cause an explosion when combined with an ignition source with devastating results,” stated State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.