Four injured after backyard bonfire explodes

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Four people are recovering from burns after a backyard bonfire went awry Wednesday night in South Burnaby, leading to an explosion.

Burnaby RCMP Staff Sgt. Major John Buis said police were called at 9:50 p.m. by neighbours in the 6500-block of 12th Avenue in the Big Bend area.

"Neighbours called here to complain of a loud noise, sounded like a gunshot, followed by lots of yelling," Buis said.

When officers arrived, there were four adults—he didn't yet know ages or gender—suffering from burns. All four were taken to hospital. Two had third-degree burns and remained in hospital on Thursday morning while the other two were treated and released.

"We think it was a backyard bonfire and someone introduced something to the fire. We don't know exactly what it is, we're still investigating, it could have been some kind of fuel," Buis said.

"It could be just about anything." He noted even aerosol cans will explode when burned.

Burnaby Mounties planned to re-interview those involved on Thursday to determine what happened.

There was no other damage as the fire was away from other houses and structures and it was extinguished right away.

Backyard fires of any kind are not allowed in Burnaby, said Burnaby's chief fire prevention officer, Greg Mervin.

Permits can be obtained from the fire chief but typically only for special events. Otherwise, "there's no open burning of anything [allowed] in Burnaby," Mervin said.

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