The woman that was killed was not identified. That person and the three people who were injured were likely in close proximity to the explosion, Sawyer said. The blast occurred at a suite on the first floor of the building, he said.
“We’d just like everyone to know that our thoughts are with her family,” Sawyer said of the person who was killed.
Capt. Tony Bommarito, a public information officer for the Orange County Fire Authority, said the department was called at around 1:09 p.m. on a report of an explosion, and units that arrived “found an obvious explosion, with debris scattered into the parking lot and into the road.”
“There’s heavy damage on the first floor corner of the building, walls and windows blown out,” he said earlier Tuesday evening.
Sawyer said that investigators were going through the interior of the building to find out a cause. He said that any blast of such magnitude would be investigated as suspicious.
“We have not found any type of specific device inside of the building right now that could tell us or lead us to exactly what the device was, if it was a device,” he said.
Three people were transported to local hospitals, Bommarito said. He did not characterize their injuries.
“At this time, at this point of investigation, there’s nothing that indicates there were any threats made towards this business, or any other types of incidents that occurred before this explosion,” Sawyer said earlier Tuesday evening.
An FBI spokesperson said earlier Tuesday that the agency was sending a Joint Terrorism Task Force to assist in the explosion investigation as a precaution.
The building where the blast occurred is across the street from an academy and day care facility, NBC Los Angeles reported. The children were reunited with their parents at a nearby Target parking lot.
Tony Dik, whose son attends the preschool, told the station that it was emotional for parents who realized that their children were on the same street as the explosion.
“When I was playing outside I heard the big crash, I thought it was a garbage truck but it was a building that smashed,” his son, 6-year-old Kingston, said, according to the station.
Aliso Viejo is south of Los Angeles.