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Hazardous materials team responds to unknown substance in Atascadero 

Atascadero fire hazardous material

From left, Seasonal Firefighter Colette Layton, Firefighter Zach Jackson and Fire Captain Matt Miranda test the unknown substance recovered from the back of a pickup truck Wednesday night in the Vons parking lot.

Fitness center is temporarily evacuated while police, fire and hazardous materials personnel investigate

Wednesday around 8:30 p.m., several reports of an unknown substance leaking out of gray 2005 Dodge pickup truck in the Vons parking in Atascadero resulted in dozens of police, fire and hazardous materials personnel to rope off the area surrounding the vehicle while they investigated. It was determined that the liquid was 25 percent hydrogen peroxide. The plastic container holding the liquid cracked and leaked approximately four gallons into the parking lot.

Atascadero fire hazardous materials

Atascadero City Fire Department Capt. Bill White, far left, talks to the three firemen who took a sample from the unknown substance. Photo by Heather Young

Atascadero Fire Department Capt. Bill White said the liquid ran from the vehicle to the street and when it flowed into the storm drain it emitted a white smoke, which prompted concern. The area was immediately contained and Give Fitness was temporarily evacuated while personnel assessed the situation. White said it wasn’t long before people were allowed back into the fitness center. It took a little longer, however, for the vehicles parked within the contained area to be allowed to leave, but White said that once an exit strategy was developed, vehicles were permitted to leave.

Once all the teams were in place, three Atascadero City Fire Department personnel, dressed in full gear, approached the vehicle and took a sample from the container that it was believed the substance came from and brought it back to the Regional Hazardous Materials Team’s truck where the liquid could be tested on-site.

Results of the test are pending and will be reported here when it is available.

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