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EPA at work in Seaside to remediate chemical smell

Family evacuates home after odor reported
By R.J. Marx

The Daily Astorian

Published on February 9, 2018 12:38PM

EPA vans outside a Seaside home Thursday.

R.J. Marx/SEASIDE SIGNAL

EPA vans outside a Seaside home Thursday.

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Crews from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency continued work inside a residence on the 900 block of Avenue K Thursday.

Two EPA emergency response van parked outside the single-family home, which had been evacuated by residents after a smell was reported inside the house on Saturday evening.

Neighbor Jenny Cozart described the smell as “paint thinner.”

“Or as I call it, ‘Kilz,’” she said, standing outside her Avenue K home.

Seaside fire personnel responded to a report of the smell inside the residence on the about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. A hazardous materials team from the Astoria Fire Department joined the investigation Monday and used general ventilation techniques.

On scene, Seaside Fire and the Oregon State Fire Marshal Hazmat Team based out of the Astoria Fire Department began investigation.

“The fire department went in there Saturday, and I went in there briefly Sunday,” Cozart said.

Officials then requested the help of EPA officials from Seattle and Portland, who began air monitoring and sampling Wednesday. Investigators believe the issue is limited to the interior of the home.

Residents and neighbors have no idea what the smell is, Cozart said. “I asked the fire department if I should be worried about my dog in the back yard, and they said, ‘Keep an eye on him,’” she said.

No other precautions were given, she said.

“In terms of risk, as stated, the residents of the effected home have vacated the premises as a preventive measure and are staying with relatives,” Seaside Public Information Officer Jon Rahl said. “Investigators have indicated that they do not believe there is a risk to any neighbors, and the EPA has been testing and monitoring air throughout the neighborhood as additional precaution.”



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