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Tyler structure fire leaves three hospitalized

TYLER, April 4, 2013--The Tyler Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire this morning at 1430 E SE Loop 323.  The initial call was received at 11:50 a.m., with reports of an explosion at the structure.  Multiple calls were received and witnesses reported seeing a victim running from the scene with flames visible on his body.  Five engines and one Ladder Company, along with a district chief and an investigator, responded to the scene.

While en route to the scene, emergency responders reported heavy smoke conditions and called for additional units to respond.  Upon arrival, firefighters immediately searched the structure to ensure all occupants were out of the building.  The fire was quickly brought under control. However, the structure sustained heavy fire damage, as well as significant damage as a result of the explosion.

One victim was transported to a local hospital due to burn injuries. He was later transferred to a Dallas Hospital and is listed in critical condition.  Witnesses reported that multiple citizens stopped to render aid. Two were also injured and transported to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. 

Investigators believe a worker was renovating the structure when the incident occurred.  Information gathered at the scene indicates that the victim was using solvents to refinish the floor in the structure.  Vapors ignited, which caused the explosion and resulting fire.  The actual ignition source has not been determined. Additional details will be released as they become available.


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