South King Fire’s Hazardous Materials Team Responds to Fed. Way Apartment

A 911 call came into to South King Fire & Rescue Saturday (Oct. 13) at 5:35 p.m. for the fire department to respond and investigate a possible chemical hazard and odor at a Federal Way apartment complex.

Fire department units arrived and noted a strong odor in the general area causing respiratory irritation and quickly withdrew from the area along with affected residents. A South County area Hazardous Materials Response was initiated bringing in Technicians from Kent and Renton to assist South King Fire Specialists to ascertain the extent of the problem. SeaTac Fire personnel also responded to assist South King Fire with command and control of the incident.

Fire Department personnel secured the area by removing visible residents from the vicinity and by sheltering other resident in place if they had remained inside their units. Hazardous Materials response equipment and vehicles were brought in to accommodate victims and rescuers. It was determined that the area of concern was an area of outdoor landscaping. SKFR officials attempted to ascertain the nature of recent work done from the apartment complex management and from the company who had performed the recent work. Attempts at obtaining complete information were unsuccessful. SKFR trained technicians then donned full protective suits and were able to retrieve a sample of a visible substance that they were able to identify as a common over-the-counter material. This identification allowed the Haz Mat team to determine a course of action to treat and decontaminate the exposed residents and to safely remove the remaining product.

King County Medic personnel treated and monitored 16 people at the scene, including two South King Firefighters. Two children, one adult, and two firefighters were transported to local area hospitals for further monitoring.

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