Firefighters Hospitalized After Exposure to Chemicals

GReen Island FDGREEN ISLAND, NY – 26 firefighters were sent to area hospitals for observation following exposure to hydrofluoric acid after battling a fire in Green Island.

According to Green Island Fire Chief Bob Bourgeois, none of the firefighters showed any symptoms of exposure but were taken as a precaution.

Firefighters from Green Island and Watervliet were taken to Albany Med, St. Peter’s and Samaritan.

Depending on the concentration of the chemical and the length of time of exposure, skin contact with hydrogen fluoride may cause severe pain at the point of contact; a rash; and deep, slow-healing burns. Severe pain can occur even if no burns can be seen.

The chief says some firefighters were kept longer, not because of any additional exposure concerns, but because of the hospital’s protocols.

8 firefighters still remain at Albany Med as they wait for tests to come back, but the fire captain says they are all doing well.

The flames were contained to an exhaust hood inside the building.

Chief Bourgeois says the building is not a total loss, but clean-up is expected to take a while.