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1 employee treated on scene after explosion, fire at Airgas in Waukesha

Data pix.

WAUKESHA -- One employee was treated at the scene as emergency responders were called to an explosion and fire at Airgas on Sentry Drive Thursday afternoon, Dec. 12.

Authorities were called to the scene around 1:45 p.m. after receiving numerous reports of an explosion near Airgas.

Representatives from Airgas told authorities that there was an explosion in the plant's hydrogen storage area and that all workers were evacuated and accounted for.

investigators identified that a number of small cylinders were leaking, and a small fire occurred in that area. Fire crews isolated the area and extinguished the fire -- allowing the remaining damaged tanks to finish venting.

Witnesses said most of the flames had extinguished themselves before crews arrived.

The Waukesha Fire Department treated the one Airgas employee for injuries at the scene.

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Meanwhile, employees at Bryce's Lawn Service next door said the blast shook their office.

"My mechanic made a reference to, it sounded like a bomb when he was in the war, so it was pretty loud," said Pat Hannon, Bryce's Lawn Service employee.

Investigators were working to determine the cause.

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