A Hazmat situation in Federal Way sent more than a dozen people to the hospital with breathing problems Saturday night.
Around 5:30 pm, residents at the Azalea Gardens apartment complex began experiencing breathing problems. Ten residents had minor injuries while two experienced more serious problems. Two firefighters were also treated.
South King Fire & Rescue Battalion Chief Kevin Body said there was an unknown substance on the ground.
“They’ve created an isolation area to prevent further exposure,” said Body.
Nearby residents were evacuated and kept away from their homes for hours as crews investigated.
“The rumor is there it could be some sort of fertilizer mixed incorrectly,” said Nick Williams, who lives across the street from the complex.
“There’s kids everywhere; knowing there could be chemicals in the grassy area, that’s a big issue,” he said.
According to fire crews, identifying the substance played a huge role in treating those exposed to it.
“We need to know the degree to which to decontaminate them, as well as what kind of treatment they’ll need,” said Body.
The substance was determined to be an over-the-counter chemical commonly used in pesticides.