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No injuries following chemical reaction at Salvation Army

By Brandi Makuski

Stevens Point police and fire crews responded to a possible chemical reaction in the early morning hours of May 19.

Dispatchers were initially told by a caller from the Salvation Army Hope Center, 1600 Briggs St., that “poison gas” had been released inside the building at 6:22 a.m. and evacuation was in progress.

Several police squads and firefighters/paramedics from Stations 1 and 2 responded to the scene. Using air quality meters, firefighters quickly determined there was no danger.

Lt. Mark Schoeberle from the Stevens Point Fire Department said a heavy response is standard because often, little is known about the nature of the chemicals when a call like this comes in.

“We think it was bleach mixed with floor cleaner—you’re not supposed to mix those,” Schoeberle said. “It was too small of an amount to really do much.”

Schoeberle added when the two chemicals were mixed, “there was a cloud of smoke”, but said it was quickly diluted with water before crews arrived at the scene.

Schoeberle said there were no injuries and he believes it was an accident. Crews were on the scene for about 35 minutes.