HANFORD — There was a hazmat incident in Hanford on Wednesday morning after hundreds of pounds of a chemical product reacted and began producing a hazardous gas.
Around 7:20 a.m., Hanford Fire Department officials said crews were dispatched to the Sequoia Inn, 1655 Mall Drive, for a report of a vehicle fire. They said the reporting party stated there was smoke coming from a vehicle in the parking lot of the inn, but it was not threatening any structures.
On arrival, crews said they found a Ford pickup truck that had white smoke coming from the bed of the truck and was emitting a strong chemical odor.
Fire officials notified employees at the inn and asked if they could contact the owner of the truck. They also advised employees and patrons to stay indoors until further notice.
Officials said the owner of the truck realized that a chemical reaction was taking place with the 880 pounds of sodium carbonate peroxyhydrate that was stored in the bed of the truck.
Fire crews then moved the truck to an open field west of the inn to isolate the off-gassing product.
Officials said the product is concentrated and is typically diluted and used as a disinfectant cleaning agent for the dairy and cattle industry. While the product can be sufficiently diluted with water, it is also reactive with water and fire officials said it was likely exposed to small amounts of water while in the bed of the truck, resulting in heat generation and off-gassing.
Officials from Kings County Department of Environmental Health, who also responded to the scene, said without the use of personal protective equipment, exposure to the vapors produced by this chemical reaction is hazardous if inhaled or touched.
Firefighters said they used a water stream to contain any airborne vapors downwind of the release and hazardous materials technicians and specialists were used to ultimately offload the product so that it could be sufficiently diluted.
Health officials said all damaged containers were removed from the accident location by the responsible party for solid waste disposal.
In total, officials said 19 personnel responded to this incident, including members of the Hanford Fire Department, Kings County Fire Department and Kings County Department of Environmental Health.