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2 burned in body shop explosion

A vapor explosion and fire left two workers of this Laurel, Md., body shop with serious burn injuries. One of the workers suffered second and third degree burns over 50 percent of his body. (Courtesy Prince George\'s County Fire and EMS)

WASHINGTON – A Laurel body shop employee suffered second and third degree fires in an workshop explosion Friday morning.

The man was taken to a Baltimore-area burn center in critical condition. Another worker was also burned but suffered less serious injuries. He was taken to a D.C. burn unit, according to the Prince George’s County fire department.

Fire crews were called to the shop at 5300 block of Minnick Road about 8 a.m. Friday and found smoke coming from the three bay doors of the shop area.

The two injured workers were found outside the building and responders immediately started to assess their condition.

One of the workers suffered burns to more than 50 percent of his body and his injuries could be life-threatening. The fire department did not release either injured man’s name.

Fire officials say a vapor explosion occurred in an area where vehicles are air-dried after the repairs are completed but the cause of the fire and explosion remain under investigation.

The explosion triggered the building’s sprinkler system, which contained the fire until firefighters arrived.

The fire caused only cosmetic damage to the building and the loss is estimated at $20,000, according to fire officials.

First responders from Montgomery, Howard and Anne Arundel counties assisted.

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