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Two are injured when trailer explodes

January 06, 2007|by ERIN JULIUS

FAIRPLAY - Two people were injured Friday afternoon when a propane furnace exploded in a travel trailer in front of a Sharpsburg Pike house.

Chuck Baker was trying to light a propane furnace when the fumes built up and exploded, according to Ed Ernst, deputy state fire marshal.

Baker and his wife, Laurel, were in the trailer at the time of the explosion, said Leonard Heller, Fairplay fire chief. Both were taken to Washington County Hospital, Heller said.

Chuck Baker later was transferred to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, according to his daughter-in-law, Kathy Baker.

Chuck Baker was listed in critical condition Friday night at Bayview, a hospital spokeswoman said.

He was badly burned and apparently had inhaled flames, Kathy Baker said. He recently had undergone heart surgery, she said.

Laurel Baker, who also suffered burns in the explosion, was expected to be released from Washington County Hospital soon, Kathy Baker said.

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Flames fully had engulfed the 30-foot trailer by the time Heller arrived, he said.

The wood frame and aluminum trailer had been parked under a tree near the house at 8635 Sharpsburg Pike. Flames also damaged a van parked nearby and the carport attached to the house.

Chuck and Laurel Baker, from Wyoming, were visiting his son, James, and daughter-in-law when the explosion occurred.

Kathy Baker was in her house when the trailer went up in flames. She described the incident as "two huge explosions."

"I panicked. It was a mess," she said.

The explosion blew out the trailer doors, and hurled Chuck and Laurel Baker outside, Kathy Baker said.

The two had burned hair and blisters "all over them," she said.

Kathy and James Baker owned the trailer, but James' parents had wanted to use it, Kathy Baker said.

Three dogs, one of which had been chained to the trailer, were burned, but survived the fire, she said.

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