Bonfire Explosion Kills Two, Injures Others at Graduation Party
The blast took place Saturday night in St. Clair Township and remains under investigation, police said.
A bonfire explosion killed two siblings and injured others Saturday night during a graduation party in St. Clair Township, police said.
According to St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon, a call was received shortly before 9:30 p.m., reporting the explosion at the 6500 block of Gratiot Road.
"The caller, who is a neighbor, said there was a graduation party going on at the house next door and there was an explosion at the bonfire. Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office, along with officers from the Marysville Police Department, and Fire Departments from Kimball Township, Marysville and Memphis all responded to the scene," the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
Witnesses reported "a huge, two-story bonfire had been built," the Sheriff's Office said.
A 27-year-old man who lived at the home poured a large amount of gasoline on the wood. He then invited his 18-year-old sister, who was celebrating her graduation, to light the fire, police said.
"When she did, an explosion occurred, with wood being scattered up to 100 yards away and blowing out the windows in the back of the residence, which was over 100 feet away from the bonfire," the Sheriff's Office stated.
The siblings, who have not yet been identified by police, were killed in the blast. Three others were transported by Tri-Hospital EMS to local hospitals with undisclosed injuries. Another person was treated at the scene and will seek later treatment.
Deputies remained at the scene, as of midnight, and the incident remains under investigation.
Alcohol was being served at the party, but there was no indication minors were drinking, police said.