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HazMat response in the Holly Park neighborhood

Seattle — This afternoon at 12:47 p.m., the Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Alarm Center received 911 calls reporting an unknown odor causing respiratory issues for residents on the third floor of a seven-story apartment building at the 6900 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. Ladder 12 was the first unit on scene and quickly made their way up to the third floor where they encountered several residents experiencing symptoms related to the unknown substance. Firefighters evacuated the third floor and prohibited entrance to the building as a safety precaution. The response was upgraded to a Hazardous Materials – Mass-Casualty Incident to request the Hazardous Materials unit to identify the substance and for additional personnel to treat the patients. As a safety precaution, firefighters requested Seattle Police to shut down the southbound lanes of Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. at S. Willow St.

A total of ten people were treated at the scene:

  • Seven residents and staff
    • Five were transported to hospitals including a 54-year-old female who was in serious condition. The other four were in stable condition.
    • Two patients declined further medical care.
  • Three firefighters who are all in stable condition. They were transported to Harborview for further medical evaluation.

HazMat crews confirmed the substance was an airborne respiratory irritate. They ventilated the building until monitoring equipment deemed it safe for residents to return to their homes. At 3:55 p.m., HazMat crews determined the air quality was safe for people to reoccupy the building, and our units returned to service.