Dozens of Cheshire residents were evacuated Monday morning and Cheshire High School dismissed at 10 a.m. after a chemical reaction at Dalton Enterprises on Willow Street in Cheshire caused an odor like burning rubber.
Officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said phosphorous pentoxide anhydride and polymer resin interacted with water and created a vapor cloud, but the chemical reaction caused no air quality issues.
"The water-reactive material heated up, heated up the resin and boiled off all the water, which caused the vapor cloud," Jeff Chanlder, the supervisor of DEEP emergency services, said.
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Neighbors described the odor as "chemical."
"There was a smell, like a chemical type of smell," said Michael Pimpinelli, of Cheshire, who lives less than a block away from the company.
Police said no one was injured from the chemical reaction. Hazmat teams and the fire department have left the scene and residents are being allowed to return home.
Because the odor was detected, students at Cheshire High School were sent home early.
“Officials have assured us that although there is no chemical risk associated with the odor, it may be uncomfortable for some students. As a precaution, we have shut off our air handlers that draw air into our schools and are not sending students outside until the odor has dissipated. I have been in constant contact with all of our school principals this morning monitoring the situation. The only building harboring a significant odor is Cheshire High School. As such, there will be an early dismissal at Cheshire High School Only at 10 am. Walkers will not be dismissed until a parent has been contacted,” Supt. Jeffrey Solan said in an email to parents and guardians.
No other schools are affected.
The evacuations of the neighborhood are over.
Dalton Enterprises makes recreational and pavement maintenance coatings, according to its website.