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10 February 2011, 18:00
A chemical scare in Letchworth became a full scale emergency response this afternoon (Thursday, February 10).
The East of England Ambulance Service was alerted to the White House Nursing Home in Gillison Close at 1.54pm to a report of a noxious smell coming from one of the rooms. Chemicals from a cleaning cupboard had become mixed and were letting off fumes.
Due to this, the trust’s hazardous area response team (HART) were deployed to the scene. Ambulance crews from Letchworth and Stevenage also attended the scene along with fire crews from Letchworth, Baldock, Royston, Hitchin and Hemel Hempstead. Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus helped evacuate staff and residents from the home, then teams wearing gas-tight suits cleared the chemicals before going through a decontamination process as a precaution.
Ambulance service spokesman Gary Sanderson, who attended the incident said: “A total of 62 residents and members of staff were evacuated from the home and placed in an adjacent building whilst the incident was being dealt with by the emergency crews. Eleven members of staff were treated and assessed by paramedics as they all presented with minor eye irritation problems.”
At present – no patients will be going to hospital.