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Kelowna  

Hazmat called to Perc spill

A small dry cleaning business was evacuated Tuesday in Pandosy Village after a machine leaked a toxic chemical.

Platoon Captain Dale Calhoun says a mechanic was working on a dry cleaner at 'Quality Cleaners' located in the Southgate strip mall when 12-litres of Tetrachloroethylene (also known as Perc) leaked from the machine.

“We received a call from Stutters that was here to clean-up some product that had leaked out of a dry-cleaning machine and what we found was that the product that had spilt, melted some plastic and got onto some carpet,” explains Calhoun.

Trained fire and hazmat crews attended and taped off the alley behind the business to vent the chemicals while business fronts remained open and unaffected.

“We have only evacuated the store itself and the back door is open and some fans are on and it will evaporate quickly, but we are concerned about the melting of the plastic and the spill on the carpet.”

Tetrachloroethylene is a colourless liquid used for dry cleaning of fabrics. Calhoun says it can cause some respiratory damage so they wanted to get it vented as soon as possible.

“There are some harmful effects with long term exposure, so we wanted to get the product out of there and make sure everyone is safe,” says Calhoun.

He adds that they were not worried about it drifting or spreading in the air as it evaporated. 

Quality Cleaners is closed until Hazmat crews determine it is safe to enter.  

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