MANATEE COUNTY - An unknown chemical agent released at the Goodwill Manasota building this morning at 7501 15th St. E. sent six people to area hospitals.
At 10:40 a.m. the Manatee 911 Center received a call from Goodwill stating that several people suddenly became overcome with an unknown agent that caused respiratory irritation and eye irritation, a sheriff's department release said. One Goodwill employee and four customers were sent to area hospitals for evaluation. Twelve people were evaluated by EMS on the property.
Southern Manatee Fire Rescue and Manatee County EMS both responded multiple units to the incident. One firefighter was later transported to Lakewood Ranch Hospital with heat related illness. None of the injuries were life threatening.
Pepper spray may have been activated, causing the incident, the sheriff's department reported. Two county transit buses were brought to the scene to get the people out of the heat, the department reported. Goodwill provided water for the people. Hazmat and fire personnel cleared the building and deemed it safe to enter about an hour later.