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Hazmat incident near Fairmont Park pool caused by accidental chemical mix, Boise Fire says

The chemical reaction turned into a gas that made 28 people in the area feel ill. 14 of them were hospitalized but have since been treated and released.

BOISE, Idaho — Investigators with the Boise Fire Department determined the hazmat incident that occurred at a Boise pool on Friday was "the result of two pool chemicals that were inadvertently mixed" during a delivery by an outside vendor.

The chemical reaction turned into a gas that made several people in the area feel ill.

Boise Police Department "completed their evaluation and containment" of a chemical spill that injured 28 people with at least 14 of them taken to the hospital near the Fairmont Park pool on Friday.

The 14 people who were hospitalized were all treated and released.

Boise Fire Division Chief Paul Roberts told KTVB the spill occurred in one of the maintenance buildings near the pool. Hazmat crews were dispatched to the area at around 1 p.m. on Friday and are currently on the scene. Roberts suspects the spill occurred about five minutes before crews were sent out.

A Code Red was initiated and crews were on scene for the next several hours until the spill was neutralized. Residents in the area were told to shelter in place, but that order has since been lifted.

Roberts said a commercial truck that was filling chemical tanks for the pool was in the area at the time of the spill. It is currently not known what chemicals were spilled, but Roberts said the five people admitted to the hospital do not have life-threatening injuries.

"A hazmat team is doing their homework and research to establish exactly what these chemicals are and hazards associated with those chemicals," Roberts told KTVB. "Once that’s determined, the hazmat team will donate the appropriate clothing to protect them to go in and further mitigate it, contain it and neutralize it so we can open the area back up."

A number of the people affected by the chemicals were in the vicinity of the area at the time of the spill. The affected individuals left the area and sought shelter across the street from the pool in a grassy area.

The 28 affected people that were not sent to the hospital went through decontamination, but officers' main concern now is respiratory issues. Roberts said if anyone was at or near the pool and feels they are having breathing problems, they should contact their doctor immediately.

Officers have blocked access to Northview from Milwaukee Street to Cole Road as crews work to clear any hazards and clean up the area.

Code Red

Code Red has been around Ada County since 2015. Boise Fire describes it as a reverse 911, letting specific areas know of current dangers or threats around them.

This is the second code red Boise Fire issued this week. The first was for the fire at the old Valley View Elementary School Monday to alert people in the area about noxious smoke.

Boise first responders encourage all residents in Ada County to sign up for Code Red. People can do so online using a computer or sign up through the Code Red phone app

Creating an account using the computer will ask for personal information like your home address. Code Red will send residents an alert via text message or email when there is a hazard. Those who choose to download the phone application will have GPS monitoring track where they are and alert them of dangers nearby.

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