Potent Acid Prompts HAZMAT And Idaho National Guard Response In Emmett

May 18, 2018

A pair of people in Emmett discovered a strong acid in their home May 17. After being exposed to the substance, the man and woman immediately displayed concerning symptoms.
Credit Joshua Smith / Flickr

A man and woman in Emmett were taken to the hospital yesterday after exposure to an extremely acidic substance. The incident was serious enough to get a response from the Idaho National Guard.

The Emmet Fire Department got the call around 5:40 in the evening on Thursday, May 17. Two patients had inhaled an unknown substance and were displaying concerning symptoms.

Emmett Fire Department Chief Curt Christensen says the pair “had some redness on their extremities from when they had touched the substance, and then one of them that had smelled it had vomited and had some throat irritation.”

According to Christensen, the drastic symptoms were worrying. The Idaho National Guard’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team also responded. The group specializes in situations involving chemicals.

So, what was the substance?

“It’s such a strong acid that we are about 85 percent certain we do know what that compound is,” the fire chief says. “It could be a cleaning solution; it’d be a very strong cleaning solution, but it wouldn’t be stuff you’d normally find laying around a home. This would be something—I don’t know when you would need something this strong.”

The couple exposed to the substance have been released from the hospital and are said to be in good condition. Christensen says it’s unclear how the potent chemical got into the house.

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