The explosion at the Mannasota Manor Apartments in Northeast Baltimore came with no warning.
"I heard like this big loud, 'Boom!' said a resident, Tavon Shields, “and the next thing I knew the fire department was knocking on the door telling everybody to "Get out! Get Out! Get Out!"
Twenty-four hours later, as residents returned to grab whatever clothing and personal items they could carry out of the condemned building, fire officials are trying to determine how an initial report of a fire inside a single unit led to the explosion and subsequent fire that consumed the front of the building.
"Once inside the building, an explosion took place, which basically injured several of our firefighters. Two of our firefighters from the explosion were blown into the basement of the apartment complex," said Baltimore City Fire Chief Roman Clark, Sr., "There were other firefighters out on the ground that had basically got blown out of the building from the explosion some suffering burns and some suffering other injuries from the impact of the explosion."
Seven injured firefighters in all, along with three people who lived in the apartment complex, including a 53-year-old woman critically injured when she either jumped or the blast sent her flying through one of the windows from an upper floor.
There had been no reports of any gas leak that day raising questions over whether the explosion was a simple accident.
"We have not deemed it suspicious at this point,” said Clark, “Currently, right now, we're investigating this to try to get to the bottom to see exactly what happened."
BGE has brought in a number of crews and heavy equipment, and fire investigators are still working the scene, but at this point, they still don't know what caused the explosion.