5 hospitalized after building explosion, fire

Published: Nov. 9, 2017 at 9:36 AM MST|Updated: Feb. 28, 2018 at 12:14 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Fire Department said five employees from the Desert Whale Jojoba Company were hospitalized after an explosion in the building before midnight on Wednesday Nov. 8.

TFD received multiple 911 calls reporting explosions and heavy fire and smoke near the 2100 block of East Beverly.

When firefighters arrived on scene there was heavy fire, a partial building collapse, and multiple injured victims. TFD said there were six employees working at the time and all managed to escape, but five were injured and taken to a hospital. The sixth did not need treatment. Three of the injured are in critical condition, according to TFD.

Firefighters encountered several obstacles including power lines in the way, a broken gas line fire, a broken fire sprinkler line, and partial building collapse, according to TFD.

TFD said at times firefighters sent 4,000 gallons of water per minute raining down on the blaze.

Firefighters had the fire under control in under two and half hours after arriving on scene, according to TFD.

TFD determined the fire was caused by an explosion, but the fire remains under investigation.

Desert Whale grows and produces jojoba oil for use in cosmetics and skin care products, according to its website.

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