A company that specializes in helping businesses prevent accidents and fires had an explosion this morning that gave an employee third-degree burns.

According to Pasco Fire Department Chief Bob Gear, Oxarc called his office just before 1 a.m. this morning. An employee at the 716 South Oregon Avenue facility was burned on his arms, chest and stomach after an acetylene bottle accidentally ignited.

In addition to safety, fire prevention and industrial wholesale supplies, the Oxarc building also contains a welding supplies department. Chief Gear said an employee on the night shift was emptying bottles of acetylene on a pallet when one caught fire and caused a small explosion.

The source of the ignition is unknown, but could have been anything from common static electricity to a fork lift operating nearby. When two fire crews and two medical teams arrived, the injured man and his coworkers were waiting in front of the building.

Once the bottles burned out without damaging or igniting anything else, the hazard was over and the man was sent to Harbor View Medical Center, Gear said.