Sport Chalet calls explosion at La Cañada store a 'tragic event'

Sport Chalet on Friday released a statement hours after two employees were injured in an explosion at the store in La Canada Flintridge, calling it a “tragic event” that was being investigated by outside agencies.

The two employees -- who remained unidentified Friday afternoon -- were asked to shut off a gas valve after someone reported smelling gas, according to Los Angeles County Fire spokesman Al Yanagisawa.

The employees suffered unspecified injuries, but a sheriff's department official said they were taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena to be treated for burns.

“Our heartfelt thoughts and support are with our two employees who were hospitalized this morning following an explosion outside of our La Canada Flintridge store,” Sport Chalet said in its statement. “This is the first time in the company's 54-year history that such a tragic event has occurred.”

Denise King, spokeswoman for Southern California Gas Co., said the utility tells customers to never attempt to control or repair a gas leak, or fix a damaged pipe or meter.

If they smell gas or hear the hissing of a gas leak – or see a visual sign, such as dirt or water flying into the air – customers should evacuate the area immediately, making sure to never light a match or use an electrical appliance, she added.

From a safe location, they should then call either the gas company at (800) 427-2200 or dial 911, King said.

“The safety of our customers and the community is our highest priority,” King said.

Crews from the utility were at the Sport Chalet to assist with the investigation into the cause of the explosion, she added.

-- Jason Wells, Mark Kellam and Tiffany Kelly

Follow Jason Wells on Facebook, Google+ and on Twitter: @JasonBretWells

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