Hazmat situation prompts evacuations of Tacoma apartments


by KING 5 News


Posted on May 6, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 6 at 7:13 PM

A portion of a Tacoma building was evacuated Tuesday afternoon due to a hazmat situation.

The Tacoma Fire Department said someone reported a heavy chemical-type odor in the building at 776 Commerce Ave.. A responding engine crew confirmed the odor and upgraded the incident to a hazmat situation.

“The folks that were complaining of respiratory problems were concentrated on the first floor,” said Joseph Meinecke, Tacoma Fire Dept.

The first floor of the building was evacuated. Between 50 and 75 people were impacted.

Others in the building sheltered in place.
Four people were evaluated by medical personnel and one transported to the hospital for an unrelated issue.

A hazmat crew investigated but nothing was found.

"No evidence of what could have caused the odor," said Meinecke.

Air monitoring equipment determined that the building was safe for residents to re-enter.