Chemical spill contained after hazmat response in Fairfield

Police say they are assisting with an investigation at the Southport Woods Drive condominium complex in Fairfield.

Police say they are assisting with an investigation at the Southport Woods Drive condominium complex in Fairfield. (8/26/16)

FAIRFIELD - A chemical spill that brought hazmat crews to a condo complex in Fairfield Friday is now contained.

Firefighters say residents at the Southport Woods Drive condominium complex are slowly being allowed to enter their homes after being forced to evacuate from a chlorine leak in the basement of a pool house.

They say a pool technician was doing some maintenance work in the basement of a pool house when two chemicals were mixed together, causing a violent chemical reaction that led to a pipe explosion. That released some hazardous gases and caused a chlorine leak. Firefighters say with the help of the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, members of their hazmat team were able to enter the pool house, shut off the valve and dispose of the chemicals, putting the remaining chlorine tablets in the pool.

"It's kind of like the chlorine in your home, eventually it just goes away and you have to put more chlorine in," says George Gomola, assistant chief of Fairfield Fire Department. "So we'll put the extra chlorine in the pool. We'll wait for it to go away. Then we'll start from scratch and make sure the pool is safe for use."

Firefighters say the technician immediately called emergency personnel and they secured the scene. They say the pool technician was the only person directly exposed during the leak and is being treated for throat and nose irritation, but is expected to be OK.

Officials say the pool technician was very lucky he wasn't seriously hurt in the incident.

The pool will be closed for about two days. 

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