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Warehouse Fire Shows Hazardous Material Dangers

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Canton Fire

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BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore fire and emergency management officials want to share more data about the hazardous materials they might find at the scene of an emergency, but the city’s tight budget will make that a challenge.

The Baltimore Sun reports firefighters experienced the need last month when a Canton warehouse caught fire.

Firefighters did not know it contained 8,000 gallons of corrosive chemicals, even though the chemicals were in the fire
department’s hazardous materials permit database.

That meant it took 11 minutes from the time the fire was reported to the time a hazmat unit was called to the scene.

Fire officials can’t scan the database with a computer, and the city doesn’t have much money left to invest in technology when financial woes mean rotating fire company closures.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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