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Local News

Minor Injuries Reported in Blast on Santa Barbara’s Eastside

Explosion and fire traced to gas leaking from hydrogen cylinder in building on Reddick Street

Firefighters responded Friday evening to an explosion at a commercial building at 819 Reddick St. in Santa Barbara. Two people sustained minor injuries in the blast.
Firefighters responded Friday evening to an explosion at a commercial building at 819 Reddick St. in Santa Barbara. Two people sustained minor injuries in the blast. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Two people sustained minor injuries Friday evening in an explosion at a commercial building on the city’s Lower Eastside, according to the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

Firefighters were dispatched at 5 p.m. to a two-story building at 819 Reddick St., which houses Apeel Sciences, said fire Battalion Chief Robert Mercado.

The company develops natural technologies for protecting food crops and fresh produce, according to its website.

The explosion occurred after gas from a hydrogen cylinder leaked out and came in contact with an ignition source, Mercado said.

A man in the room with the tank had some singed hair but no other visible injuries, Mercado said, and a woman in an adjacent room was hit by the concussion wave cause by the blast.

A hydrogen cylinder that leaked gas, causing an explosion, is visible through a window that was blown out by the blast. Click to view larger
A hydrogen cylinder that leaked gas, causing an explosion, is visible through a window that was blown out by the blast. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

Both were examined by paramedics and declined further treatment, he added.

The explosion caused a small fire that was quickly extinguished, Mercado said.

Fire crews had to use extra caution due to the presence of chemicals in the building, Mercado said, adding that firefighters remained on scene more than an hour later to ventilate the structure.

An investigator was called in to determine the cause of the blast.

An initial estimate placed the damage to the building at $10,000 to $20,000, Mercado said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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