Hazardous Materials Incident 6th Avenue
Spokane Valley, Wash. – Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) units responded to a report of a fire alarm activation that turned into a hazardous materials incident at the 6100 block of E. 6th Avenue shortly before 1:00pm today with 7 SVFD units, appropriately 8 units from Spokane’s Regional Hazardous Materials Team, and 5 AMR units.
Once on site, fire crews determined the unit of the fire alarm activation. They were unable to access the unit as the front door was locked. They noticed a window to the unit that was open and decided to make entry through the window. Once inside the two firefighters started to smell an odd odor and exited through the front door. They put on an air packs and reentered the unit to make sure everything was clear then returned to the front yard. Once back in the front yard the firefighters became ill and three of them showed signs of the same symptoms. The Incident Commander determined the firefighters had been exposed to some unknown substance and they needed to be transported to the hospital because of the exposure. The incident was upgraded to a hazardous materials incident at this point and the Spokane Regional Hazardous Material Team was dispatched. The surrounding units of the complex were evacuated for safety proposes. Upon arrival of all the members of the hazmat team a plan of action was put together to safely enter the unit and determine the cause of the odor. Once the hazmat team members entered the room, they were able to determine the source of the odor was coming from three bed bug bombs that had been set off by the occupant of the unit. The devices were removed from the unit and the complex was cleared.
The three firefighters were released from the hospital around 3:30pm after being treated for a minor chemical exposure. The firefighters are doing well and are expected to have no further issues.
Spokane Valley Fire Department serves the City of Spokane Valley, City of Liberty Lake, City of Millwood and unincorporated areas of Spokane County with a combined population of 125,000 across 75 square miles. SVFD firefighters and paramedics responded to more than 17,280 emergency calls in 2017. Established in 1940, SVFD is an Accredited Agency by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, one of only a handful in Washington State.