Example of a police dog from another jurisdiction. This pooch was not involved in the fire story. Photo courtesy City of Monterey Park.

A corporal from the Downey Police Department and an officer from South Gate have been hospitalized with burn and blast injuries they suffered during a K-9 training session in South Gate.

Fire crews responded to an explosion in the 5600 block of Imperial Highway, between Garfield Avenue and the Los Angeles River, said a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatcher.

[symple_googlemap title=”South Gate explosion” location=”5600 Imperial Highway, South Gate, Ca” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]

The corporal and officer were injured while conducting a canine training exercise inside an unoccupied commercial building, said sheriff’s Deputy Lisa Jansen, whose agency is investigating the incident.

There was also an electrical fire during the Wednesday evening training session, resulting in both being seriously burned with injuries to their faces and upper bodies, authorities said.

The two were taken to a hospital and were in fair condition this morning, Jansen said, adding they were improving.

The cause of the explosion and electrical fire was under investigation.

The Downey corporal is a 17-year veteran while the other officer has been in the South Gate Police Department 10 years, according to a broadcast report.

City officials visited the two and remain in close contact with their families, according to Shannon DeLong of the Downey city manager’s office.

Mayor Fernando Vasquez, Mayor Pro Tem Sean Ashton and council members Alex Saab, Rick Rodriguez and Blanca Pacheco all issued statement of support.

“Please keep our injured officers and their families in your thoughts and prayers,” Ashton said.

Pacheco said the “accident is a poignant reminder of the risks that law enforcement officers take in ensuring our communities are safe.”

–City News Service

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