FD: Eight firefighters recovering after explosion in Surprise – ABC15 Arizona

FD: Eight firefighters recovering after explosion in Surprise - ABC15 Arizona

Arizona firefighters rushed to hospitals after explosion at battery facility

A Peoria Fire-Medical Department truck. Four firefighters from the city of Peoria were injured in an explosion at a facility used to store industrial grade lithium batteries. Four additional firefighters from a separate agency were also taken to the hospital for lesser injuries. (Peoria Fire-Medical Department/Facebook)

Eight firefighters, from two separate agencies, were hospitalized Friday after an explosion at an Arizona Public Service facility in Surprise, where utility-sized lithium batteries used in the storage and distribution of solar energy are housed.

A statement released by the APS said: “We had an equipment failure at our energy-storage facility in Surprise, Ariz. on Friday. The cause is still under investigation. During the response, firefighters from Surprise and Peoria were injured. Our top priority is the health and safety of those first responders, and our thoughts are with them and their families. We will continue to work closely with response agencies on the scene. 

Four firefighters from the Peoria Fire-Medical Department were seriously injured. One firefighter was in critical condition after being knocked unconscious. Two others were in serious condition, Capt. Ken Wier told FOX 10 of Phoenix.

According to the Arizona Republic newspaper, the four most seriously injured firefighters were from the Peoria Fire Department and four other firefighters with the Surprise Fire Department were transported to the hospital for evaluation of less serious injuries.  Three Peoria firefighters were flown to Maricopa County Medical Centers burn unit in Phoenix.

Three of the most seriously hurt firefighters were airlifted to Maricopa County Medical Center's burn unit in Phoenix while the fourth was transported to a West Valley hospital, Michael Selmer, a spokesman for the department, told AZCentral.com.

The newspaper reported the explosion occurred at the Arizona Public Service McMicken energy storage facility in Surprise Friday night. Large, utility-sized lithium batteries are used on the site for the storage and distribution of solar energy, the newspaper reported.

Four additional firefighters from the city of Surprise were taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, Battalion Chief Julie Moore of the Surprise Fire Department told AZCentral.

Eight firefighters hurt in explosion

Fire teams from Peoria and Surprise both responded to APS McMicken Energy Storage facility around 6 p.m. after someone passing by spotted spoke, Moore said. Firefighters began inspecting a utility-size lithium battery for hazardous chemical levels. An explosion occurred as a Peoria Fire hazmat team attempted to enter the facility.

(CNN)Four firefighters were injured in an explosion while responding to a call for hazardous materials at an electric company in Arizona on Friday night, authorities said.

4 firefighters injured in explosion at Arizona energy facility

APS spokesman Alan Bunnell said the facility will cooperate with a full investigation into the cause of the explosion. He said firefighters were called to the site to investigate a possible equipment failure. Meanwhile, firefighters from various agencies in Phoenix gathered outside the Maricopa Medical Center on Friday evening to rally behind their fellow first-responders, AZCentral reported.

Video: 8 firefighters injured in explosion at Surprise energy storage facility

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Posted in Surprise