2 deputies critically injured in fire at Castaic detention center

Southern California authorities said two deputies were critically injured Tuesday morning in a fire at the mobile shooting range located at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic.

Los Angeles County Fire officials responded to the facility, located in the 29300 block of The Old Road, at about 9:40 a.m. following a report of "an outdoor fire."

The fire was burning in a mobile firing range on the grounds of the facility, officials confirmed. Firefighters continued their efforts to douse the flames more than an hour afterward, authorities reported.

The detention center was placed on lockdown during the firefight but Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said there was no threat to any of the inmates.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, two deputies who were inside the mobile range trailer when the fire broke out, were transported to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital for treatment for critical injuries. Authorities initially described it as a "training incident."

Emergency crews on the scene also said another two patients were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

Officials have not identified the injured deputies but did describe them as "veteran deputies;" one with 21 years of service and the other with 17. 

Dr. Louie-Marc Contreras of Henry Mayo Newhall confirmed that neither of the deputies had to undergo surgery. As of Wednesday morning, they remained in stable but critical condition.

(FOX 11)

A mobile firing range is an indoor facility, often with two firing lanes, used by the LA County Sheriff's Department to conduct deputy firearm training.

It is "highly likely" that ammunition was stored in this facility, Sheriff Luna said in a press conference.

According to the fire department, the main safety concern is of "unexploded ammunition" in the range. Officials also confirmed that the fire is not yet extinguished as of approximately 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, but that it is expected to be contained within the next hour.

"Number one, we don't want this to happen again," said Sheriff Luna in a press conference. "So we need to know why it happened and get to the bottom of it…"

Arson and explosive detail responded to the scene in order to investigate the cause of the fire, authorities said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Authorities confirmed that there is no immediate threat to the inmate population. Out of "an abundance of caution," officials said that mobile ranges across the county are currently closed.