Employees hurt in fire at Intel's Ocotillo campus in Chandler - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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Employees hurt in fire at Intel's Ocotillo campus in Chandler

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Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 2:35 pm

Chandler Fire Department crews are investigating a fire at Intel Corp. that has left seven people injured and forced the evacuation of several hundred employees.

The fire started inside a support room of a factory building on Intel’s Ocotillo campus where high-volume manufacturing of microchips is performed, according to Dawn Jones, an Intel spokeswoman.

The flash fire occurred in a self-contained room containing petroleum-based solvents used for cleaning and the force of the blast was comparable to a pressure surge and described as “concussion-like,” according to Brad Miller, a Chandler fire spokesman. He said all the people who were injured were in the same room.

Fire crews from Chandler, Gilbert and Phoenix were seen responding to the incident, which occurred about 2 p.m. Tuesday at 4500 S. Dobson Road.

None of the injuries was life-threatening, but three people were taken to Chandler Regional Medical Center and one was taken to Maricopa Medical Center in Phoenix. The other people who were affected by the fire were assessed by emergency crews on site, Jones said.

Josh Walden, vice president and general manager of fab sort manufacturing at the plant, said that despite other media reports, the number of employees who were injured is seven and not eight. The person transported to Phoenix had a more serious injury but it was nonlife-threatending, Walden said, and that person's current condition is not known at this time.

Authorities said all employees were wearing protective gear. The names of the injured haven’t been released.

Fire officials say the fire was contained in one room at the microchip company’s Ocotillo campus and quickly extinguished.

When fire crews arrived on the scene there were no flames, but heavy smoke, Miller said. A building fire suppression system consisting of foam and water sprinklers activated, helping to douse the blaze before crews extinguished it.

Hazardous materials crews monitored the building after cleaning up the area.

The buildings were cleared and workers were allowed to go back inside the facility after about 90 minutes, Miller said.

The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

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