Chemical Reaction Forces HazMat Call

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 @ 05:01 PM gHale

Two chemicals came in contact with each other, causing a reaction, which led to a smoke condition at an Allentown, PA, recycling center Tuesday.

Firefighters got the call to the recycling center about 1 a.m. after an employee discovered a cloud of smoke in the area of a restroom, said Allentown Fire Department Capt. John Christopher. The two chemicals came in contact with one another causing a reaction that created the smoke, he said.

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Firefighters had to undergo a decontamination process after investigating the smoke.

Employees did not need to undergo the decontamination process and no one suffered an injury in the incident, Christopher said. As firefighters and hazardous materials crews prepared to re-enter the building and neutralize the chemical reaction, the chemicals “burned off” on their own, Christopher said.

The company recycles batteries, mercury and various acids, Christopher said. Christopher said firefighters were on scene making sure the facility was safe until about 4:30 a.m.

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