Nearly a dozen San Miguel (FPD) California Firefighters may have been exposed to Hepatitis A while battling a brush fire in a Spring Valley homeless encampment early Sunday.
The fire sparked behind a condominium complex about 1:30 a.m. Initially, firefighters thought the area was simply wet from water from the fire hose and a natural spring nearby.
It wasn’t until they doused the 1-acre blaze that firefighters noticed the pungent smell of feces.
The crews were focused on the fire but once they put it out, they realized the smell around them was from human waste and realized their boots, uniforms and equipment had been soiled.
One firefighter accidentally stepped into a 5-gallon bucket filled with feces while walking toward the fire. He ended up falling down a hill and was taken to a hospital with a minor back injury.
As a precaution, fire officials contacted the county’s Hazardous Material’s team that recommended firefighters wash their gear and equipment with soap and water before returning to the station. Yesterday, 11 Firefighters were checked by medical professionals and given booster shots to combat potential infection.
ABOUT HEP-A: https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hav/afaq.htm