Potentially Toxic Substance Evacuates Claremore Fire Station

Tuesday, June 9th 2015, 11:11 pm
By: News On 6

A potentially hazardous material closed down a Claremore Fire Station. A white substance was found in a drainage ditch Thursday and firefighters at Station 3 evacuated.

Test results for the substance aren't back yet, but city leaders are giving firefighters the green light to return.

Station 1 is a packed house because there are double the number of trucks and firefighters there.

Just feet away from Fire Station Number 3, red danger tape is up, and dirt fills the drainage ditch because some kind of substance - which could potentially be toxic - is underneath.

"I walked over here and, of course, it had a very strong smell," said Stormwater Manager, Charlene Lawrence.

She said it looked like white paint.

Stormwater from three locations drains into the ditch, and Lawrence believes all the recent rain is likely to blame.

"About right here, where we are, is where the end off is and where the white film on top of the water was," she said.

Fire fighters first noticed it last week.

"We just aren't sure what it is and where it came from, so I took a sample and sent it to the lab," Lawrence said.

We were told at least one firefighter went to the hospital after potentially being exposed to it, but the city could not confirm that.

Even though there's a housing complex and school across the street, Lawrence said firefighters were the only ones at risk.

"The smell was bad, so we wanted to move the firefighters out until we could get it contained," said Lawrence.

She said dirt is covering up the substance and smell, making it safe for firefighters to come back.

"There's nothing here. We don't have anything that we are concerned about at all," she said. "It's their call, they can come back if they want to."

As the city waits on test results, firefighters remain at Station 1.

What happens next depends on if it's hazardous or not. If it is something toxic, the dirt will be dug up and disposed of properly.