Chemical Burns Send Man to Hospital
December 17, 2011, 1:41 am
Portland Fire and Rescue were called out to a home on Northeast 47th Avenue around 6:30 Friday night. They arrived to find a 59 year old man in a bathtub full of a solvent based chemical.
According to the man's wife, he had arrived home earlier that afternoon from a week-long out-of-town job working on a crane. He called his wife to let her know that he was going to try to get some grease stains out of his jacket. His wife came home to be overwhelmed by an odor in the house she described as paint thinner. After discovering her husband in the bathtub soaked with the chemical, she called 9-1-1.
Paramedics were first on the scene and found the man semi-conscious. They had to hold their breath as they removed him from the house to the front yard to render first aid. He was placed in a HazMat suit after his clothes were removed. Paramedics had to use gas masks while they transported him to the hospital because the fumes were so strong. He suffered severe chemical burns over 70% of his body.
An investigation in the bathroom led firefighters to discover a 3 gallon bucket with about 2 cups of solvent left in it. Firefighters and HazMat team members are still working to determine what the chemical was.