The Orange County Sheriff's Department stated in response to news reports: "Despite media reports quoting unnamed sources, we have not confirmed that the explosion is intentional, nor have we conclusively identified the source of the explosion".
The explosion ripped through the first floor of the two-story medical building, blowing out walls and windows - and sending the preschool kids scattering, along with their parents. The blast involved a building under renovation but the cause was not immediately known, according to authorities.
"The corner of that building, the whole bottom floor is pretty much blown out", fire Capt.
One person was pronounced dead at the scene, and three others were injured, OCFA said.
Bomb technicians from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies were investigating, said Paul Delacourt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Tony Bommarito of the Orange County Fire Authority said, according to NBC News.
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Mary McWilliams told the Orange County Register she arrived for an appointment to find smoke surrounding the area and vehicle alarms going off.
A third person suffered smoke inhalation, fire officials said.
"We have not found any type of specific device inside of the building right now that could tell us or lead us to what exactly the device was, if it was a device", Commander Dave Sawyer of the Orange County Sheriff's Department said at a press conference. McWilliams says one woman had skin peeling on her arm. Other people could be seen wheeling cribs down the street as the area was evacuated.
"... They weren't on fire, they were helping each other across the street, walking very slowly and a lot of shock, shaking, just full of ash all over their face, eyes bloodshot, just blood all over", the woman said.
The county's bomb squad and a hazmat team are preparing to search the building where the explosion occurred.
The initial call came in about an hour ago, at which point 10 engines and 70 firefighters were dispatched.