A fire in a gravel pit on Witless Bay Line Sunday has left one man burned and has destroyed three campers.

The fire started when a barbecue exploded in the crowded camping pit and quickly spread to the campers. 

Fellow camper Cyril Coffin went running when he heard someone screaming for help.

"I told everybody to move back. I say, 'There's propane tanks there, they're going to blow, everybody move back,'" he said.

camper fire barbecue explosion

A fire in a gravel pit on Witless Bay Line Sunday left one man burned and destroyed three campers. (Adam Walsh/CBC)

Coffin said after everyone moved away, the tanks exploded and the the fire went up the tree "right fast." He said he was "frightened to death" because he was worried it would spread to all of the campers, the woods  even the nearby community of Bay Bulls.

Jason Maddon, 38, received burns to his face, head and arms and was treated on the scene, then taken to hospital.

The Witless Bay Volunteer Fire Department responded to the fire. Chief Fabian St. Croix said the nearby woods also caught fire briefly but fire crew members were able to put that out fairly quickly.