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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Firefighters respond to treatment plant

  • A building was evacuated at Leavenworth's wastewater treatment plant Tuesday morning after a 55-gallon drum of hydrogen peroxide began to have a chemical reaction, a Fire Department official said.
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  • A building was evacuated at Leavenworth's wastewater treatment plant Tuesday morning after a 55-gallon drum of hydrogen peroxide began to have a chemical reaction, a Fire Department official said.
    Members of the Leavenworth Fire Department responded with hazardous materials equipment and sealed the drum in a larger container. No injuries or illness were reported as a result of the incident, according to Acting Fire Chief Mark Nietzke.
    Firefighters were called to the wastewater treatment plant, 1800 S. Second St., around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday.
    Nietzke said the drum of hydrogen peroxide was in a room in the plant's main building. He said the hydrogen peroxide was 50 percent concentration.
    A ventilation fan for the room had stopping working.
    "It basically started sweating," said Nietzke, referring to condensation on side of the drum.
    He said the container started "gassing off" as it heated up. He said the biggest danger was the inhalation of the fumes from the container.
    Staff at the plant had evacuated the building once it was discovered what was happening. Nietzke said personnel at the plant left open a door to the room where drum was located, and this had started cooling it down.
    Four firefighters dressed in what Nietzke said are called Level B hazmat suits.
    Two of the firefighters who were dressed in the suits made entry to seal the 55-gallon drum in a larger container. The other two firefighters who had suited up served as back up, Nietzke said.
    He said members of Leavenworth County EMS stood by as a precaution.
    Members of the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department and Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 were alerted and asked to stand by at their own stations.
    Leavenworth firefighters cleared the scene at 11:50 a.m.
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