One dead and one hurt in Fullerton explosion
Eric Licas, The Orange County Register
May 28—An explosion at an engineering firm in Fullerton sparked a fire that left one person dead and another person injured Thursday morning, May 27, officials said.
Witnesses and preliminary physical evidence suggest the blast originated in a testing facility on the premises of National Technical Systems Fullerton, at 1534 East Valencia Drive, Fullerton Fire Deputy Chief Chris Nigg said. Numerous employees working throughout the building, which encompasses almost an entire city block, reported hearing the blast.
Firefighters responded at about 9:13 a.m., and immediately began searching for anyone who might still have been in the burning structure, Nigg said.
Rescuers found one 29-year-old man and attempted first-aid, but he died before he could be taken to a hospital. He was later identified as Jesse Siordia, 29, of Lynwood, Orange County Coroner’s supervising deputy Raquel Clark said.
Another NTS employee suffered injuries related to smoke inhalation, Nigg said. Those were not considered life threatening as of Thursday afternoon.
Crews managed to gain control of the fire within 30 minutes of their arrival, and hazardous materials teams were summoned to contain chemicals dispersed by the blast, Nigg said. Those were mostly hydraulic fluids.
Authorities do not believe there is any lingering risk to the surrounding community, but were still finding and extinguishing smoldering piles of rubble as of 3 p.m. The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.
Anaheim Fire & Rescue as well as the Huntington Beach Fire Department were assisting Fullerton police investigating the matter, Nigg said. The Orange County Coroner’s office and The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration were also notified.
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