Jeff Heckel said he was inside the store he manages in Baltimore County, Maryland, when he heard “a loud explosion-type boom.”
“There was no flames or anything, just a very loud explosion,” he told CBS Baltimore. “Shook the building.”
After hearing the loud bang, Heckel said, he went outside and found that the explosion happened in the car of a frequent customer, CBS Baltimore reported.
He called 911 after seeing the damage.
Spray deodorant and a cigarette were to blame for the violent incident, Baltimore County Police spokeswoman Jennifer Peach told the Baltimore Sun. An unidentified man rolled down the front windows of his Chevy at around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Peach said, and put on some aerosol deodorant with the air conditioning running.
Then he lit a cigarette, she said.
“I would say it would be best to describe as a sudden and violent expansion of the air molecules in that vehicle,” Peach told the Sun.
Rob Kemp, from the Baltimore County Fire Department, explained what caused the explosion to CBS.
“The aerosolized deodorant was inside of the car, created a flammable atmosphere, which he was not aware of,” he said, “and then when he lit his cigarette, he created a spark for the explosion to occur.”
As seen in images shared by Baltimore County officials, the explosion raised the car’s roof and broke the front window. It also opened the car doors and caused some damage to another vehicle parked next to the mangled Chevy, according to ABC2.
A fire department spokesperson told ABC2 that the man was rushed to a local hospital with serious burn injuries.