20 residents forced from apartments after chemical incident

September 03, 2014|By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun

Anne Arundel County fire officials said Wednesday that a hazardous chemical incident that forced about 20 people from their Glen Burnie apartment complex Tuesday night was created by a neighbor who took his own life.

Firefighters were called to the Burwood Gardens Apartments on Shelly Road at 4 p.m. Tuesday to check out a report of an odor of gas. Firefighters determined the smell was sulfur, not gas, and forced their way into a first-floor apartment, officials said.

There, they found a note on a bathroom door warning that a hazmat suit would be required to enter. Inside, they found the body of a deceased 31-year-old man. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled the fatality a suicide.

Officials said the apartment had lethal levels of hydrogen cyanide and hydrogen sulfide, and other parts of the building had dangerous levels.

Firefighters evacuated residents, and two people were taken to MedStar Harbor Hospital in Brooklyn for treatment: A man who had breathing problems and a woman with high blood pressure that was possibly unrelated to the incident, officials said.

The 20 residents were displaced from their apartments for the night. By 9 a.m. Wednesday, there were no remaining hazards to the residents, officials said. Burwood Gardens is operated by the Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County.



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