Hazardous materials may be to blame
Two Pelican Bay firefighters fell ill shortly after fighting a fire on Shadow Lane west of Azle Tuesday, April 16.
According to Pelican Bay firefighter Marshal Daniel, he and two other ‘Bay firefighters responded to a report of a brush fire in the 100 block of Shadow Lane off Highway 199 near Sanctuary.
The location is in Reno Volunteer Fire Department’s jurisdiction, and the Pelican Bay department was called in to assist.
However, Daniel says they were not notified that the fire contained hazardous materials, including metals and tanks filled with various chemicals.
“The homeowner at that location was not only dumping waste and hazardous materials into the creek bed where it could get into the water supply, he was illegally burning the material,” Daniel said.
Daniel said that although he felt nauseous for some time after inhaling what he believed to be Freon gas from the fire, he was decontaminated and was feeling better around noon Tuesday.
However, paramedics from the Azle Fire Department transported another firefighter, Tom Petty, to Texas Health Harris Northwest Hospital Azle.
Daniel was wearing bunker gear on the fire scene, which he credits with protecting him somewhat from the fumes of any gases.
Petty, however, was not in bunker gear. According to Daniel, Petty became very nauseous and began vomiting shortly after arriving back at the Pelican Bay VFD.
His condition was not known at press time on Tuesday.
A third Pelican Bay firefighter who also responded to the fire claimed no injury or illness.
The homeowner at the fire location was arrested by the Parker County Fire Marshal’s office and charged with illegal dumping, violation of the Clean Air Act, and interfering with public duties.