Hazmat Incident Kills 2 People, Critically Injures Another, and Injures 4 Cook County Sheriff's Deputies on Harrison St, Unincorporated Des Plaines

Cook County Sheriff's police and North Maine Fire Protection District firefighter/paramedics responded about 3:06 PM Thursday to a report of three people not breathing at 3439 Harrison Street Des Plaines, IL. Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report that three people were discovered unresponsive and not breathing in a townhouse on Harrison Street west of Dee Road. The location is also just east of the Illinois State Police District Chicago offices.

Cook County Sheriff's deputies were first on the scene to check to see if the incident involved a crime scene and whether the scene was secure

Firefighter/paramedics were ordered to stage outside until sheriff's deputies secured the scene. Next, the deputies told paramedics to rush inside.

Glenview's Ambulance 7 crew transported one patient to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, but the other reported victims were not transported. The person transported was later listed in critical condition.

Firefighter/paramedics that transported the victim were instructed to change their clothes and shower with soap and water as part of their decontamination protocol.

Four Cook County Sheriff's officers later complained of difficulty breathing. At about 3:34 p.m. North Main FPD's battalion chief then requested an EMS Box which brought extra ambulances from Rosemont, Mount Prospect, and Elk Grove Township. The Cook County Sheriff's Deputies were transported to area hospitals.

At least two hazmat teams rotated through the residence working on narrowing down classes of chemicals that could have caused injuries or illnesses inside. The first team was
decontaminated by 5:07 a.m., and the second team was rotated inside to continue the hazmat work.

As of 5:30 p.m. the hazardous material was not identified, while physicians at Glenbrook Hospital requested the identity of the material be transmitted to them as soon as possible so they more precisely treat their critically injured patient.

There was also concern about what procedures were required, if any, to decontaminate ambulances that transported patients. The information was not given over the air.

Winds were out of the east at about 6 MPH with an air temperature of 69°F at about 5:40 p.m. Most of the afternoon the winds were out fo the east -- ranging from 3 mph to 14 mph.

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