Morrisville hazmat finds no gas - just trash - 3 overcome by fumes

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Thursday, August 31, 2017
Stench KOs apartment dwellers, worker
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A hazmat team was called to Morrisville but found no gas, just a tremendous stink of trash.

MORRISVILLE, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Morrisville Fire/Rescue Department responded Wednesday to a report of a gas odor at the Bexley at Preston apartment complex.

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They found no gas inside the unit. What they did find was an extreme amount of trash.

"It's uncertain at this point," said Morrisville Fire Battalion Chief Cliff Cates about what exactly could've caused the emergency. "We're not sure if they were overcome by the smell, odors. It was a low-level hoarding situation. Lots of household trash built up in that apartment, it was very filthy."

Liz Campbell lives across the breezeway from the apartment at the center of all this. She said a junk-removal worker knocked on her neighbor's door and was instantly overwhelmed by the tremendous stench emanating from inside.

"I guess when the door opened he breathed in enough of what it was and it just knocked him right out," Campbell said.

Eyewitnesses say the husband and wife who lived in the apartment were both knocked unconscious along with the junk removal worker. But by the time first responders arrived, the victims had regained consciousness.

Authorities said the building was evacuated as a precaution. Three people - the two residents and the junk-removal worker - were treated but are said to be stable. Two of the three were taken to a hospital for observation. All are expected to be OK.

Officials say the incident happened around 6 p.m. in the 5100 block of Sterling Green Drive.

Hazmat crews evaluated the scene and did not find any gas. Authorities told ABC11 that the victims may have been overcome by an "extreme amount of trash" in an apartment.

Residents were forced to wait in the parking lot while crews from Raleigh Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Team investigated suspicions of a gas leak.

According to fire crews, no one in the surrounding area was in any danger.