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Firefighters work to put out a fire in a sawdust hopper after it exploded and caught on fire at an industrial facility in San Leandro, CA.
Source: Alameda County Fire Department

A sawdust hopper exploded and caught on fire at an industrial facility in San Leandro, CA, Sunday as contractors were performing welding work, the Alameda County Fire Department said in statements posted to social media networks.

Alameda County firefighters got the call to the facility on the 800 block of Doolittle Drive at 11:30 a.m. after observing a smoking hopper at the site, officials said.

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“Shortly after arriving at the scene to investigate further, the hopper exploded and caused a fire,” Alameda County Fire officials said. “Contractors were welding the hopper to disassemble it, not realizing it was full of sawdust. The welding ignited the sawdust and a sudden shift of the hopper caused a large dust cloud (inside the hopper) that led to a dust explosion and fire.”

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Firefighters contained the exterior fire to the hopper area.

No workers were injured during the incident, but one firefighter was brought to an area hospital for heat-related issues. The firefighter was later released.

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