ALISO VIEJO, CA – One person died and at least three others were injured in an explosion and fire in an out-patient mental health clinic by Aliso Viejo, resulting in unconfirmed reports of the cause of the explosion causing evacuation and chaos. FBI spokesman Mike Gifford said the cause of the explosion is still unknown. Homeland Security and the Office for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also assist in the investigation, according to Orange County Sheriff's Department. Since this report, no arrests have been made.
Firefighters stay on-site to determine whether unknown dangers lurk after the fatal explosion that occurred at 1
"We will take all necessary precautions before we enter the building," said Captain Tony Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority
after the explosion of victims who were covered with blood and ashes were seen as they helped each other out of the building.
"The only thing we know for sure now is that it was an explosion," said a spokesperson for OCSD.
Earlier reports of a car breaking into the building have been refuted by Orange County Sheriff Carrie Braun spokeswoman. According to CBS2, Orange County Sheriff MEPs take photos of all the vehicles leaving the area. The explosion comes one day after Sheriff's deputies were summoned to the same block of Mareblu for a "patrol check" for Sheriff's records. It was not immediately clear what triggered this call.
"OCSD will not confirm the cause of the explosion," spokeswoman Carrie Brown Patch said. Officers will stay on the scene trying to pinpoint what happened, Braun said.
The FBI has sent resources to help with the investigation, which is led by the Orange County Sheriff's Department officials say there is no further threat to the community.
The medical building was not under construction, as previously reported, but was a functioning office building, OCSD said. it is unknown if the person who died in it was a man or a woman.
According to Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority, one of the casualties suffered smoke poisoning, and both the patient and two others were transported to the area's hospitals. However, the extent of the injuries suffered by the other victims was unknown in this report.
Witnesses to the fire told CBS2 that the victims of the explosion, who had fled the building, were helping each other "across the street and walking slowly from shock and trembling," a nameless woman said, adding the victims be "full of ashes on their whole face, eyes bloodshot, only blood all over."
Meanwhile, children from the Academy on the Hills Preschool Road from the building were not endangered in this blast, and no children were reportedly injured. At 2.30 pm OCFA helped mothers and children evacuate the daycare and take the children to a nearby destination car park to reunite with their families at 26932 La Paz Road.
OCFA and OCSD officials investigate all possible dangers of this incident. A gas leak is no longer the reason for the explosion and the fire, so Bommarito.
"It is unlikely that such gas-fired explosions will take place in a commercial building," he said.
Aliso Viejo Police Services has closed roads in the Oso and Moulton Parkways areas and La Paz Road. Drivers are asked to shun the area.
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