CHESHIRE — There were no reported injuries after a chemical reaction prompted a hazmat situation at a local pavement and recreational maintenance coating business Monday morning.
Emergency crews evacuated area residences were evacuated and students at nearby Cheshire High School as a precaution. Students were also dismissed for the day, and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection responded to the scene.
About 8 a.m., emergency crews responded to Dalton Enterprises, 131 Willow St., for a chemical reaction of Phospourie Pentoxide Anhydryde, assistant fire chief Dan Ford said. The reaction caused water vapor to be released into the air, according to Jeff Chandler, supervisor from DEEP’s Emergency Response Unit.
Firefighters, the Waterbury hazmat team and representatives from DEEP metered the area but found no chemicals, Ford said.
Local residents and students at Cheshire High School reportedly detected an odor from the water vapor and were evaluated by emergency crews as a precaution.
There were no reported injuries, Chandler said. Residents are being allowed to return to their homes and employees of Dalton Enterprises have returned to work, Ford said. Willow Street and Spring Street have reopened.
Cheshire High School student Charlie Farrell said students were told to close windows and to evacuate the building. After the evacuation began, Farrell said a smell resembling burnt rubber was in the air. He said the fire department came to the school to check oxygen levels, but found nothing concerning.
Tom Hern, a Cheshire resident of Warren Street, off of Spring Street, said in his decades of living around nearby he can’t recall there ever being any incidents at the company.
Police said emergency personnel will continue to test air quality in the area.
“A residual odor may be present but does not pose any health threat,” Ford said.