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Off-duty L.A. firefighter critically injured in Sylmar blast

August 9, 2011 | 11:17 pm

Sylmar blast

An off-duty Los Angeles city firefighter was among two employees critically injured during an explosion an at alternative-energy company in Sylmar, multiple sources told The Times late Tuesday.

The injured firefighter was identified as Timothy Larson, who was undergoing surgery after suffering major injuries to his arms and legs, according to two sources briefed on the incident.

Larson was undergoing treatment at Holy Cross Medical Center, said the Fire Department and law enforcement sources, who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

The explosion ripped a hole in the roof of the one-story building at 12349 Gladstone Ave. and shattered windows of nearby businesses. Rubble was strewn on the street.

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Jamie Moore said investigators had contacted the Ventura County Fire Department because of similarities with an explosion at an alternative fuel company last year in Simi Valley.

That exposion, at Realm Industries, killed a man named Tyson Larson, according to media reports.

Fire officials had not determined a cause for Tuesday's blast but were investigating whether a process that extracted hydrogen from water sparked the explosion.


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--Andrew Blankstein (twitter.com/anblanx) and Robert J. Lopez (twitter.com/LAJourno)

Photo: Damaged building. Credit: KTLA.