Two workers at a silicone manufacturing company in north Bakersfield were hurt this morning when a 55-gallon drum of chemicals exploded, and one is reported as in serious condition. Kern County Fire spokesman Andrew Freeborn says the resulting fire outside the Nusil building on Pegasus Drive set off the sprinklers and forced workers to evacuate just before 9am, and that also led to a large response that included calling in hazmat crews. Nusil makes silicone products but Freeborn says the chemicals involved were not considered hazardous, just flammable. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Suzanne Grant