Two released from hospital following Emmett HAZMAT incident

Posted at 12:16 PM, May 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-18 14:16:55-04

Two residents suffering from injuries sustained in a Thursday evening HAZMAT incident in Emmett have been treated released from a Boise hospital, and are reported to be in good condition.

About 5:40 p.m., Gem County Dispatch received a call about a homeowner finding an unknown substance in a plastic bag under his bathroom sink.  

“In opening the bag to see what it could be, the adult male became ill and vomited. He also experienced a burning sensation in his nose, eyes and throat -- as did an adult female coming into contact with him,” said Emmett Fire Chief Curt Christensen in an e-mail. 

Emmett Police officers and emergency medical personnel arrived shortly thereafter to make a hazardous material assessment.  Reports say Emmett Deputy Fire Chief Mike Giery called the Region III Hazmat Team stationed in Caldwell, where a determination was made to contact the 101st Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the National Guard, a unit designed to respond to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents within the United States, as established by federal law. 

The man and woman were transported by ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise for an assessment.

“Due to the unknown substance and the signs and symptoms the patients were exhibiting, we are always better to treat these incidents with extreme caution for the safety of all involved,” said Christensen. 

“HAZMAT crews determined the substance was extremely acidic in nature. It is still unknown where the substance came from or why it was in the residence,” Christensen said.

Crews secured the substance -- and the Emmett Fire Department is now working with the Department of Environmental Quality and the homeowners to properly dispose of it. “There is no further danger to the community,” stated Christensen.