Officials say 20 firefighters who battled a blaze at a Rhode Island company are being treated for chemical exposure symptoms, and seven firefighters still too sick to work.
Several crews responded to the fire at Prosys Finishing Technologies in Cranston Jan. 29. Deputy Fire Chief Paul Valletta says chemicals caused the firefighters’ equipment to melt as they entered the building.
At least 12 firefighters were immediately hospitalized. Valletta says he and many people have chronic cough, vomiting and shortness of breath among other symptoms.
Valletta says there were at least 80 chemicals stored in the room where the fire broke out. The city is currently working to identify all of the chemicals.
Valletta says the company told him it would have been “catastrophic” had firefighters not put out the fire.