Police said 28-year-old Martin Blossom was pronounced dead at the scene. Two adult brothers, a woman, and a 14-year-old girl were injured and taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
The victim's family said this was an absolute freak accident that started as a routine family gathering and ended with a fun-loving father of three dead in his grandmother's front yard.
The explosion happened in a commercial outdoor fireplace, sometimes referred to as a chiminea that was in the front yard of a home in the 6500 block of St. Louis Street.
The chiminea had a metal base with a hinged access door and a vented chimney at the top.
Blossom's aunt spoke to ABC11 and told us she was the last to speak to her nephew.
"When I was holding his chest I was calling his name and two breaths and that was it.... (choked up) after that I just knew he was gone (crying)," said Shirley Small.
Small also said that Blossom's two young sons witnessed their father's death and that she will never be able to look into her mother's front yard without thinking of this weekend's loss.
Blossom's two brothers, the woman, and the 14-year-old girl are still at the hospital Tuesday. All are shaken by the incident but expected to be fine.
It is still not known what caused the explosion but it has been ruled accidental by investigators.