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Four people injured in explosion, fire at commercial building in Phoenix suburb

CHANDLER BLVD - 56TH ST FIRE
Posted at 2:48 PM, Jul 31, 2023

CHANDLER, AZ — Four people were injured, two seriously, by an explosion and fire at a commercial building Monday in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, authorities said.

Chandler Fire Department officials said they were called around 2 p.m. after a small explosion at a company that manufactures and sells vitamins and supplements.

They said part of the roof on the 25,000-square-foot building collapsed, and paramedics treated four people at the scene.

One suffered minor injuries, and the other three were taken to a hospital. Chandler Fire Department Battalion Chief Carlos Vargas said two of them had serious injuries.

Authorities said the cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately clear.

“This is the first time anything like this has happened here,” said Leonard Pasqualone.

ABC15 spoke to Pasqualone who works across the street from where the explosion happened.

“The explosion was that loud, and that violent, that we actually thought that it was in our facility when we heard it,” he told ABC15.

Fire crews from the surrounding cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe and Guadalupe responded to the scene to help extinguish the blaze.

ABC15 also spoke with Diane Happy who was working inside Enzyme Process when the explosion happened.

We asked if there was anything inside that she felt would be explosive and without hesitation she said “Absolutely not. Maybe a couple of small bottles of fire retardant. Just for the lab for testing,”

A representative with Southwest Gas tells us, gas doesn’t go to this property or within 250 feet of it.

They did survey the site to ensure there wasn’t any gas infrastructure.

Diane describes what she survived. ”Lights started crashing down on the ceiling, employees were running, it just happened so fast, ran outside right away and called the fire department,” she said

An investigation remains ongoing.