Blood Drive Set For Employees Burned in Explosion at Sport Chalet

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LA CANADA (KTLA) — A blood drive is planned to support two Sport Chalet workers injured in a natural gas explosion at a store in La Canada.

Victor Gonzales, 25, and Lauren Polzin, 27, were severely burned while trying to shut off a gas valve after someone reporting smelling gas.

The explosion happened just before 10 a.m. in the store’s pool area.

The utility room contained chlorine and acid used to maintain the store’s swimming pool which is used for diving lessons.

“The employees went into the utility room and they shut the gas down, but as they were leaving the gas flashed on them,” said Greg Hisel of L.A. County Fire.

Gonzales and Polzin sustained second to third degree burns over 50 to 80-percent of their bodies.

The blood drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the corporate offices of Sport Chalet, which are located next to the store on One Sport Chalet Drive in La Canada.

The sporting goods chain has also established funds for both Gonzales and Polzin at:  and

Gift cards from restaurants, grocery stores and other shops can also be sent to Sport Chalet’s corporate offices.

They will be donated to the employees’ families, the company said.

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