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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Firefighters respond to HAZMAT call at clinic, find nothing

  • Firefighters responded with hazardous materials equipment Wednesday after staff at a Lansing medical office complained of a strange odor and various health problems, a fire department official said.
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  • Firefighters responded with hazardous materials equipment Wednesday after staff at a Lansing medical office complained of a strange odor and various health problems, a fire department official said.
    Firefighters ended up finding nothing on their instruments. Personnel at the clinic were checked by Leavenworth County EMS personnel but no one was transported to the hospital, according to Rick Huhn, chief of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1.
    Members of Fire District No. 1 initially responded to Associates in Family Health Care, 712 First Terrace, at 9:32 a.m. Wednesday for a fire alarm. The fire alarm turned out to be a false alarm. And Huhn doesn't believe the problem with the alarm was related to the odor.
    Once firefighters were at the scene, they were told about an odor in an upstairs area. Staff members also reported they were becoming sick.
    Huhn said people at the clinic reported health issues such as running noses, irritated eyes and respiratory problems.
    He said seven people were checked by Leavenworth County EMS.
    Huhn said off-duty members of Fire District No. 1 were called to the scene. He said no one from his department reported feeling ill.
    Members of Fire District No. 1 used self-contained breathing apparatuses as a precaution.
    Other Fire District No. 1 members were asked to stand by at the department's Lansing station to respond to other calls.
    Huhn said members of the Leavenworth Fire Department also responded to the scene.
    Acting Leavenworth Fire Chief Mark Nietzke said his department sent a pumper truck crew as well as a trailer with HAZMAT equipment.
    Huhn said Leavenworth firefighters wore protective suits.
    Huhn said every once in a while he could smell an electrical burning odor.
    "All of our meters came up negative," he said.
    He said firefighters offered a couple of suggestions regarding what could have caused the odor.
    Huhn said members of Fire District No. 1 returned to the clinic around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday because of an additional report of an odor and people not feeling well. An EMS administrator also responded this time. Again, firefighters were unable to find anything.
    Huhn said the clinic is going to have a private environmental company check the building.

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