8 injured, 1 critically, in Glendale Heights backyard fire pit explosion

GLENDALE HEIGHTS, Ill. (WLS) -- A flare-up in a backyard fire pit injured eight people, one critically, in west suburban Glendale Heights over the weekend.

The Glenside Fire Protection District responded to a fire behind a residence at 10:16 p.m. Saturday. Glendale Heights police said flammable liquid poured onto a small fire in a fire pit caused an explosion on Marci Court, injuring the eight people.

"I heard a boom," said Robert Isaac, neighbor.

Isaac and Sandy Acanfora were both home at the time.

"I was watching my grandchildren and all of a sudden I hear all these fire trucks and ambulances," Acanfora said.

"I just pray that nothing really seriously happens to them, but I am shocked," said Isaac.

According to a GoFundMe set up for her, 16-year-old Autumn Hamilton suffered third degree burns over the majority of her body and is currently on life support. Several other students remain hospitalized with burn injuries.

"How horrible, I mean, you got to pray for that 16-year-old girl," Acanfora said.

Some of the injured are classmates at Glenbard East High School. Students put red ribbons around trees in front of the school in a show of support.

"Everyone here has been, like, really hoping everyone has a fast recovery and we want them all to stay strong," said student Lily Patel.

Glendale Heights police said they are still investigating, but as of right now no charges will be filed. They said the fire appears to be accidental.
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