Spokane firefighters recovering after gas leak


gas leak

Six people were taken to the hospital and 75 residents at the Riverview Retirement Community in the 1800 block of E. Upriver Dr. had to be evacuated Tuesday evening due to a hazardous gas leak.

The Spokane Fire Department responded to the call around 7:30 p.m. Upon arrival crews discovered there was a leak of r22 Freon, which is a refrigerant, from a hazardous gas container. Immediately, the incident commander upgraded the call to a hazardous materials response in order to have additional resources respond.  

The six people taken to the hospital included four firefighters and two facility staff who were exposed to the gas and suffered medical symptoms resulting from the exposure.

A portion of the facility was evacuated while another area of the facility was cordoned off to allow residents to safely stay. Approximately 75 residents in total were evacuated. The SFD along with American Medical Response (AMR) worked with staff to ensure all evacuees were stable and did not need medical attention. 

After the SFD’s Hazardous Materials Response Team was able to make entry and determine the gas leak had stopped and been cleared, residents were allowed to safely return to their rooms. No residents were injured or exposed to the gas. An additional facility staff member was injured during the evacuation process.

The four firefighters exposed have been released from the hospital and are expected to make a full and quick recovery. There is no information available regarding the medical condition of the two facility staff members.

(story: Nichole Mischke, KHQ Right Now Reporter; image: KHQ.com)