Topeka HAZMAT responds to unknown substance call at federal building

Unknown substance

HMN-In a scene that has become all too familiar lately, firefighters and HAZMAT in Topeka were called to a federal building to investigate an unknown “unusual” substance.  CJonline reports that the substance has been deemed safe after investigation.

How does your department handle or train for the elusive “unknown substance” response?

Topeka authorities on Tuesday afternoon investigated a suspicious package with an unusual substance at the federal building in downtown before determining it wasn’t hazardous.

The package was reported around 1:10 p.m. in the mailroom at the Frank Carlson Federal Building, 444 S.E. Quincy.

When the substance was found, the area was immediately secured and the Topeka Fire Department’s hazardous materials team was called in.

Two workers were exposed, but they showed no signs of skin irritation or difficulty breathing, Topeka Fire Battalion Chief Chris Herrera said on the scene.

The mailroom is a separate unit in the building so no evacuation occurred, Herrera said.

About 2:30 p.m., a group of firefighters exited the building, and the scene was cleared shortly thereafter.

Herrera said the hazardous materials team determined the substance wasn’t dangerous, and that it was likely paste used to seal an envelope.

 

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