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Santa Paula, CA -- A chemical mixture caused a flash fire at a Ventura County waste facility last week. The fire and chemical release forced a 1 mile evacuation and sent 37 people to local hospitals for decontamination.
The fire and chemical leak happened when a truck exploded into flames. It spread 1,200 gallons of a mystery mixture of chemicals at the scene. "As the liquid began to dry out, the companies on scene noticed that it was very unstable and reactive. As they stepped on it, or tried to move their engine, it would spontaneously ignite under the tires of the engine or their boots," said Ventura County Fire Captain Mike Lindbery.
Thirty-seven people were taken to the hospital. Most with symptoms from the chemical exposure. The driver of the truck that exploded was also taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. All but one person was released from the hospital by the afternoon.
Firefighters let the fire burn itself out.