Spooner Fire District

SPOONER– Some of the people who fell ill after exposure to a mysterious epoxy smell at Spooner Middle School on Wednesday morning, Nov. 10, were found to have carbon monoxide in their bloodstream, but tests by the Spooner Fire District have not shown any levels of carbon monoxide or gas at the school.

The fire department was dispatched to the school at 9:44 p.m. on Wednesday for an odor at the school and students who were feeling ill. The students and staff had been evacuated from the school to Spooner Wesleyan Church.

“Multiple agencies of law enforcement, EMS and Fire responded to the Wesleyan Church where students and teachers were gathered,” Vik said in a press release on Friday afternoon. “Medical Aid was given to students and additional ambulances were ordered. The fire department also responded to the Spooner Middle School and began to check the building for odor and gas levels. A strong epoxy odor was present at the school but gas detectors did not register any levels of carbon monoxide or gas.

“Work was being done around the school which included a sewer lining crew working on College Street east of school and a construction crew operating motorized equipment on the north side of school building,” he said. “The fire department received reports on students and teachers having low levels of CO in their systems. The fire department worked with school staff on Wednesday and Thursday to try and identify the source of the carbon monoxide, but at no time were any amounts detected using four different gas detectors.

“The building has been ordered closed by the fire department to all personnel except for those helping with additional testing,” the fire chief said. “The fire department will continue to assist the school as they work toward being cleared for occupancy.”

About 60 people have gotten medical care from exposure to the odor.

"Approximately 36 students and 24 staff members have been treated at local medical facilities since Wednesday's incident," the district said in a press release on Friday.

It has taken the expertise of many to handle the incident from its inception on Wednesday through the ongoing investigation into what caused it.

“I would like to thank all the organizations that helped throughout this incident,” Vik said. They include North Memorial Ambulance, Minong Area Ambulance, Cumberland Ambulance, Sawyer County Ambulance, Spooner Police Department, Washburn County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Washburn County Emergency Government, Washburn County Health Department, Chemtrec, Wisconsin Poison Control, Spooner Health, Indianhead Medical Center, Cumberland Healthcare, Hayward Area Memorial Hospital, Essentia Health – St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Spooner Health Infection Control and ER director and staff, Essentia Health Medical Toxicology, Wisconsin Bureau of Environment and Occupational Health, and Spooner Wesleyan Church.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

Recommended for you

Load comments