Hazardous situation sends two people to the hospital
Posted at: 08/15/2013 12:02 PM
| Updated at: 08/15/2013 6:56 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion | WHEC.com
A scary situation in a city neighborhood Thursday morning. Two people were rushed to the hospital after breathing in fumes, forcing officials to lock down an entire neighborhood for several hours.
Crews were called out to a home on University Avenue between Gibbs and Main Street after a city garbage worker and a person walking by became dizzy. Fire officials say a liquid leaked out of garbage bags on the street and the fumes made the two people sick. We're told their injuries were non-life threatening.
A 9-1-1 call shortly before 11:00a.m. Thursday immediately turned into a hazardous material response. Hours after the discovery, News10NBC found out the the material was not toxic, but officials say that, in situations like this, they have all hands deck. They were not willing to take any chances..
Several agencies, including a hazmat unit and protective services, were called out to the area. Officials say a lot of the material was in the dump truck already and some of it was found on the sidewalk.
The suspicious bags were found at a home located right across from Planned Parenthood. A lot of people were inquiring whether or not there was a connection. Fire officials say they want to make sure that people know there was absolutely no connection.
Even though the substance ended up being nothing dangerous, officials wanted to make sure the community wasn't harmed and that their workers were protected. Officials say they have a strategic plan in place to handle situations like this.
Lt. Ted Kuppinger, Rochester Fire Department, said, “They are all checked out before they go out to the scene. When they come again they are checked again to check their vital signs. Then we do a briefing before anyone goes in. A briefing of the entire situation is done explaining what the goal is of the team that's going in, what they are supposed to do. A second team is already suited up and ready to go in if there is a problem with the first team to assist them and get them out of danger.”
Officials suspect the home was gutted out within the last few days and some of the chemicals that were taken out of the home mixed together and created some kind of fume.
Fire officials say they had planned to bill the homeowner for the private company they hired to collect the material. Now that we know the substance is not toxic, city officials say they have yet to determine whether or not they will end up billing the homeowner. That bill is estimated to be in the thousands.