Today, we got a report from the OPD that an explosion happened in a downtown Orlando warehouse. Shortly thereafter, the Sentinel reported that the building at 47 W. Jefferson St. was home to Creative Engineering, a company owned by Aaron Fechter, who built animatronic rock bands made up of robot animals. The Rockafire Explosion, as the band was called, was an attraction at the now-defunct ShowBiz Pizza. (View our photos from around the scene of the explosion.)
Rockafire experienced a brief revival when MGMT featured the band in a handful of videos that went viral on the web.
Master Sgt. Roger Brennan of the OPD confirmed this afternoon that the building "houses business materials and equipment used to manufacture animatronics." It was not occupied when the building exploded, so there are no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
UPDATE: Still no definitive word on the status of the Rockafire characters, but we've been updated via Facebook and told that Fechter is OK and that his newest venture, a clean and efficient fuel, may have caused the fire. The Sentinel is reporting that it was a cooking fuel.
For photos of the scene today around the area where the explosion happened, go to next page.
A photo of the building after today's explosion shows that the side of the building was torn open. Photo by Dave Plotkin.
A news reporter interviews people working out at a nearby gym about the downtown explosion. Photo by Dave Plotkin.
Another view of the building's exploded exterior wall. Photo by Dave Plotkin.
Emergency vehicles on the scene. Photo by Dave Plotkin.