Today at approximately 11:57 am, the fire services division was dispatched to the Holland Aquatic Center located at 550 Maple Avenue for a chemical spill in the building. Upon arrival minutes later, units found that the building was being evacuated and at least three patrons of the center were complaining of some minor respiratory irritation. These individuals were taken to Holland Hospital which is a short distance away. Subsequently firefighters conducted an entry to the building to determine that all occupants were evacuated and to further assess the source of the spill. It was determined that a small amount of sanitizer, identified as sodium hypochlorite, which is a liquid, was being offloaded into a bulk container in the pump room located inside the building. At this time it is believed that a small amount of the product, which is offloaded by pump, became vaporized into the air allowing it to move throughout building. There was no spill of free liquid in this space.
The unloading process was shutdown quickly prior to the arrival of fire personnel. Following verification of this and investigating conditions inside the pump room, the building was ventilated to remove any residual vapors and odors. As conditions improved, patrons were allowed to enter unaffected areas of the building to retrieve personal belongings.
Some of the evacuated patrons left the area and have contacted the department for instructions regarding any potential exposures. Patrons of the aquatic center that were exposed and are continuing to experience irritation to the eyes, respiratory tract, or skin, should seek medical attention. More severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing are considered an emergency and they should contact 911.
Sodium hypochlorite it is a common solution utilized for sanitizing pools and water purification in general. The release that occurred today was contained to the building. Adjoining properties and residents in the area were not affected. The fire division was assisted today by the Holland Police Department.
Any further questions or information requests should be referred to the Holland Aquatic Center.