Man who was burned in explosion at work returns home

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A Valley man who was injured when an explosion took place at his work is finally back at home.

Two weeks ago, flames ripped through Rock Hard Design and Surfaces near 27th Avenue and McDowell.

Shawn Opatril was sitting at his desk when suddenly the roof above him buckled, sending flames down below.

Opatril suffered second-degree burns to his face, arm and hands, and wasn’t able to leave the hospital until this weekend.

Looking back on the incident, Opatril said it was a terrifying surprise.

“Just happened to hear something behind me on the left side, turned around and just saw a bunch of white and black smoke coming down through the ceiling. Next thing there was just flames coming down to the floor and then back up,” he recalled.

Firefighters said the explosion happened when an employee cleaning up wood dust in a loft space fell through the space and caused an electrical spark.

The employee remains in the hospital with second and third degree burns, but is expected to survive.

Rock Hard Design and Surfaces will reopen on Monday.