A chemical spill forced first responders to clear out Spaulding High School Friday. Five people were taken to the hospital for treatment as a precaution.
School was out for the summer, so just a handful of people were at Spaulding High School at the time of the incident. Fire and rescue officials quickly responded. The area was secured and no one was allowed into the building. A building across from the school was evacuated.
There was some sort of chemical reaction coming from an area near the chemistry lab.
"Initial responders met with staff who had discovered a haze in the chem lab area, one of the storage rooms. At this time, it appears accidental in nature. The room was secured," Barre Fire Chief Tim Bombardier said.
Treatment began on six people; one treated in Barre City, five others taken to taken to the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. Decontamination units were set up outside the Emergency Room.
"We are standing at ready for any patients coming our way. We have been in constant contact with SMS from the Barre location. We have tested five," said Cheyenne Holland of CVMC.
Back at the scene, hazardous material specialists went to work. So far, no clear cut indication what the chemical was or what caused the incident, but the chief stressed it was an accident and nothing criminal.
Not a sleepy summer day for first responders who were working under steamy conditions.
Officials say it was lucky students were not at the school at the time. If school was in session more people could have been impacted by the chemical. Responders could be at the scene until 8 p.m.
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