22 Jul 2020
An explosion at the McMicken Energy Storage facility at an APS substation in Surprise, Arizona earlier this month injured eight West Valley Firefighters; three of them are still being treated at the hospital after the incident.
ABC 15 reports that on Friday, April 19th, fire investigators from the Peoria and Surprise fire departments were on the scene investigating a previous battery fire at the substation when the explosion occurred. The accident left four from each company injured.
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Among the injured are Captain Hunter Clare, Engineer Justin Lopez, Firefighter Matt Cottini, and Firefighter Jake Ciulla. Ciulla was treated for his injuries and is recovering at home. Engineer Justin Lopez was the most severely injured in the incident, suffering from an arterial cut, a skull fracture, rib fractures, a collapsed lung, and a broken nose.
Captain Hunter Clare suffered third-degree burns, an ankle fracture, and wrist fracture. Captain Clare has undergone surgery and is expected to make a full recovery with rehabilitative care. He was later released from the hospital and is currently recovering at home.
Both Firefighters Cottini and Ciulla were readmitted for complaints of headaches and other injuries that they received in the explosion at the APS substation. APS later released a statement to the media expressing their gratitude to the emergency crews who responded to the blast
The incident is currently under investigation by both industry engineering and safety experts along with federal regulatory agencies.