Siblings Die in Bonfire Explosion in St. Clair Township
FOX 47 News
Photo: Video by fox47news.com
A happy celebration turned tragic for a family in southeast Michigan Saturday night. It was a bonfire that went terribly wrong.
In St. Clair County, it is country. And one of the things that you do to celebrate, is you have a bonfire. They did that Saturday night, and it ended in tragedy.
St. Clair County Sheriff's deputies combed through what's left of massive, three story structure made of pallets and building materials. A five gallon gasoline can sits empty, its contents poured on the wood by its builder, 27-year-old Christopher Blewitt. He was celebrating his 18-year-old sister Savannah's high school graduation.
They intended to use a trail of gasoline leading from their bonfire to light it safely, but ran out, so they both stood next to it when Savannah struck the match.
Savannah and her brother were killed instantly by the concussion, the exploding fumes heard miles away, sending wood flying everywhere with incredible force, shattering windows in the back of the family home, poking holes in a nearby pole barn.
Four fire department responded. Several friends nearby were injured and ended up in the hospital. Sheriff Tim Donellon calls this an unsettling loss of life.
"It was meant to be a joyous open house, and you know gasoline and fire are a wicked combination."