Leaking Drum Of Sodium Hydrosulfite Causes Evacuations In Holiday

PASCO COUNTY, FL. – Pasco County Fire Rescue responded to the 4000 block of Louis Ave in Holiday at approximately 4:45 pm on August 19, 2021.

Officials say, Engine 12 arrived on the scene and found a 55-gallon barrel of Sodium Hydrosulfite that was causing a toxic cloud of smoke to blow across the street. While extinguishing a small fire coming from the drum, firefighters evacuated nearby homes and businesses.

In powder form, Sodium Hydrosulfite is hazardous to handle, and the powder is very volatile when mixed with water. Firefighters from PCFR performed further recon and determined that a violent chemical reaction was taking place inside the barrel containing the substance.

Firefighters were vigilant in eliminating fire risks to the community in the immediate vicinity of the drum.

“Pasco County Fire Rescue firefighters greatly appreciate the help provided by the Tampa Fire Rescue Hazmat Team. They responded to the scene for several hours and assisted firefighters with hazmat mitigation,” said PCFR.

Drone 1 was launched to check the temperature of the barrel of sodium hydrosulfite, and it determined that the barrel was stable but holding high heat. Local hazmat/environmental cleanup crews were called to the scene, and the barrel was removed from the business around 2 AM this morning.

The video from Drone 1 shows thermal images compared to visual images of a container taken by PCFR Drone 1. Objects appear whiter as they get hotter in the thermal image.

The barrel appears harmless in the visual image, but under the thermal image, the chemical reaction of the Sodium Hydrosulfite is clearly visible. Hazmat crews took great care to keep the chemical stable until cleanup crews could arrive.

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