Eleven firefighters and one resident were taken to an area hospital Friday when a noxious combination of cleaning supplies triggered a Level 3 hazardous materials situation at a building in Boston's South End.
The building was evacuated after a combination of bleach and Murphy's Oil Soap created a noxious, potentially dangerous combination on the third floor of a 5-story rooming house, Boston fire officials said.
"If it's inhaled to a considerable extent, it can cause some serious damage," said Boston Fire Deputy Chief Robert Calobrisi. "It can really affect you mucous membranes."
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The 12 people were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure. The building has since been ventilated.
Police said they received a call around 12:15 p.m. for a reported hazmat situation at 1740 Washington St.
Residents told NBC10 Boston they were gagging and their eyes were stinging so they pulled the fire alarm to get everyone out.
"Whatever it was, it was stinging my eyes," said resident David Moore. "I've never smelled anything like that before."
Residents were forced to wait outside while firefighters suited up and went through the building to investigate.
"It wasn't any sort of choking fume but you could smell something something was going on," said building manager William Ayala. "It made me gag as well so that's why we pulled the fire alarm."
Fire officials are now working to find out who mixed the chemicals and to make sure they don't do it again.
The residents were able to return to the building hours later.