WILLIAMSVILLE, NY (WKBW)- Some residents in Willamsville had an unexpected wake up call Friday morning as firefighters, police and hazmat crews decontaminated an area exposed to toxic chemicals. According to the Main Transit Fire Department, the hazmat situation was all caused by someone improperly disposing of pool chemicals on trash day. It happened around 9:30 a.m. on Teakwood Terrace when 3 waste collectors started to have difficulty breathing. It was later discovered that pool chemicals, chlorine and bleach were left at the trash and placed in the garbage truck. The mixed chemicals caused a serious reaction and created a huge cloud of smoke in the air.
"The reverse 911 system was put into place to notify the residents," said Main Transit Fire Chief James Lawida. "The doors surrounding the area were knocked on by our firefighters to notify residents to stay indoors and turn off ac units and remain there until the situation was mitigated."
Teakwood remained closed for more than an hour, residents were asked to close their doors and windows, and special teams decontaminated the site. All three workers were sent to area hospitals for treatment. Fire officials say one of the workers is recovering from severe breathing issues. Investigators do not suspect foul play, just a case of careless disposal by a homeowner.
"There would be a minimal chance of finding out who did this," added Chief Lawida. "With a hundred residents living on the street and the garbage truck going up and down the street, who knows where it came from and when it was crushed."