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Willmar, Minn., city worker overcome by fumes when cleaning wading pool

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WILLMAR -- A Willmar city employee was taken to Rice Hospital Tuesday afternoon after being overcome by fumes he was using to clean the pool shed at the wading pool at Rice Park in southwest Willmar.

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Police cordoned off the area and evacuated several downwind houses. Ten to 11 people had to leave their homes for about 90 minutes.

The pool was closed for maintenance work, so the pool was empty, and no children were involved in the incident. The wind was blowing from the southeast at about 8½ mph, and traffic on First Street about a block east was unaffected.

A Willmar Ambulance team was the first to arrive at the scene to transport the victim. Within a few minutes, the Willmar Fire Department and a hazardous materials team arrived.

Willmar Police blocked off the area while the chemicals were isolated and placed in a barrel.

Police said they would need to talk to the employee to find out exactly what chemicals he had been using when the incident occurred.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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