LAKEWOOD – Just before 11:00 am Saturday West Pierce firefighters had a citizen walk into the station alerting them to an odor coming from his home at the 8600 block of Moreland Ave SW. The man reported coming home and finding both his cat and his bird dead and a strange odor coming from the house.
Firefighters initially monitored the air using special devices from the exterior of the structure and found nothing. They then utilized more specialized equipment and monitored the air inside the structure. This time they found traces of a hazardous material. At this point the Pierce County Hazardous Incident Team was called, along with the Hazardous Materials Team from Joint Base Lewis McChord, the 10th Civil Support Team from Camp Murray and the Department of Ecology. The Pierce County Hazardous Incident Team is made up of firefighters who specialize as Hazardous Materials Technicians and the team shares equipment and resources as a cost savings to taxpayers. This incident included Hazardous Materials Technicians not only from West Pierce, but also from Gig Harbor, Central Pierce Fire & Rescue and Graham Fire & Rescue.
These additional firefighters with specialized training and equipment were called in to identify the chemical and to determine if the home was safe for the occupant to return. In the end, a carpet cleaner being used in the home was the cause of the incident. The incident has been turned over to the Pierce County Health Department for further investigation.