Strong odor causes stir at Belmont's Heritage Terrace

BELMONT — Firefighters had to temporarily relocate about 20 residents of the Heritage Terrace building off Shaker Road into their community room yesterday after some bleach mixed with other chemicals mixed together and created a toxic environment.

Fire Chief Dave Parenti said the event came when a woman walked into the Fire Department at 8:30 a.m. and told firefighters she had been cleaning in her father's apartment and some chemicals mixed and she wasn't feeling very well.

Parenti said the woman was taken by ambulance to Lakes Region General Hospital in Laconia for evaluation while other firefighters went to the housing complex for the disabled and elderly to evaluate the chemical vapors.

He said the smell was fairly acute on the second floor so firefighters brought all of the residents into the downstairs community room so the entire building could be ventilated.

Parenti said the toxic compound appeared to be bleach and some kind of lavender hand soap. He said the chemical reactions had stopped by the time firefighters arrived and they only had to ventilate the building and remove the bleach from the apartment.

He said he notified the N.H. HAZMAT Team and they determined the fire department personnel was able to take care of the problem.

All of the residents were back in their individual apartments at 10 a.m. and no one was injured. He said the woman's father had been staying in her home for the day while she cleaned so he wasn't effected by the fumes.