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Former LA City Firefighter Among Those Injured In Blast

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SYLMAR (CBS) — A former Los Angeles City firefighter was among those injured earlier Tuesday in a powerful explosion at a commercial building in the San Fernando Valley.

A view from Sky9 shows the explosion on Gladstone Avenue was so strong it ripped the roof off of Rainbow of Hope, an alternative fuel company. It occurred about 4:20 p.m. in Sylmar, according to L.A. City Fire spokesman Brian Humphrey.

Two people suffered critical injuries, one of them former firefighter Tim Larson, who owned the business. He lost an arm and a leg in the blast and is still in surgery at this hour.

A third was taken to the hospital to be checked out.

Juan Fernandez, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, says this isn’t the first time the company has experienced tragedy. In 2008, a worker received burns when a compressed gas tank exploded and just last June, Tim Larson’s 28-year-old brother Tyson was killed in a similar explosion.

Crews say the cause of the blast has yet to be determined; a pair of compressed natural gas cylinders found inside the building may have contributed, however.

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