Fire officials in Winnipeg are urging people to be safety conscious following an incident that seriously injured two people.

A father and daughter were both sent to hospital Wednesday night in critical condition following a fire-pit incident on Guay Avenue in St. Boniface.

"I heard an explosion and looked out my window and called 911 and then was trying to help the people out," said Aline Harding.

The man suffered second and third-degree burns. His daughter was also hurt by flames.

Officials said the man had poured gasoline onto the fire to try and make it grow.

That caused a flashback and set the man's clothes and body ablaze.

Fire officials said gasoline should never be used as an accelerant, even when flames are not yet present.

"It's not made for starting (fire) pits. It's made to run your vehicle," said Marc Proulx.

He said gasoline sends vapours into the air that instantly expand and ignite around a fire. People sometimes underestimate how fast a fire can spread, added Proulx.

Manitoba has guidelines in place, including requiring that a fire pit or barbeque is at least 10 feet (3.05 metres) away from a home, garage or shed.

People need to have a spark arrester or mesh covering to make sure sparks don't fly out and set grass on fire. And officials recommend using dry wood or briquettes to start a fire.

In 2010 in Manitoba, there were 82 barbeque and fire-pit related blazes that caused more than $100,000 in damage.

- with a report from CTV's Caroline Barghout