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Man dies in explosion in Simi Valley commercial building

June 17, 2010 |  4:47 pm
One man died Thursday afternoon when an explosion tore through a commercial building in Simi Valley and forced officials to evacuate buildings within a half-mile of the scene, officials said.

Firefighters found the body amid the rubble of the partially collapsed building in the 400 block of Easy Street, the Ventura County Fire Department said.  The victim was described as a male adult.

Two other people inside the building at the time of the explosion escaped uninjured, Fire  Capt. Ron Oatman said. The blast was reported about 1:15 p.m.

Police at the scene said people inside the building were working "with some kind of alternative fuel," according to Oatman.

He said investigators had not determined what type of explosive materials were stored in the building or what sparked the explosion

--Robert J. Lopez