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Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 responds Tuesday night, Sept. 27, 2021, with a hazmat truck and more to a chemical leak at Shearer’s Foods in Hermiston.

A chemical leak the night of Sept. 27 at Shearer’s Foods in Hermiston resulted in three people going to the hospital.

Umatilla County Fire District No. 1 responded to the food processing faculty at 8:45 p.m. with three engines, two medics, a hazmat team and more. Division Chief Richard Cearns said around 20 to 25 employees were evacuated.

It is not entirely common to send out a hazmat team, Cearns said, but this was a case for it, as people reported a chemical smell in the warehouse.

The hazmat team triaged five possible patients. Ambulances rushed three to Good Shepherd Medical Center, Hermston, and two refused transport, according to Fire Chief Scott Stanton.

Cearns said his team found the cause of the leak and mitigated the problem, though he could not say the exact chemical released. Once the chemical release was stopped, and after affected employees were sent to the hospital, Shearer’s was allowed to open at 4 a.m. the following day, Cearns said.

A spokesperson for Good Shepherd said all three patients were treated and released by Sept. 29.

Shearer’s has not yet returned calls regarding the incident nor made a statement about the cause of the evacuation.

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