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Toilet cleaners flush couple from city home

February 24, 1998

Toilet cleaners flush couple from city home

A Hagerstown couple was taken to Washington County Hospital Monday night after inhaling fumes generated when two incompatible chemical drain openers were mixed together in an attempt to unclog a toilet, a fire official said.

Members of the Washington County Hazardous Materials team were called to 512 Salem Ave. at about 6:30 p.m. to neutralize the mixed chemicals, said Ron Horn, battalion chief at Hagerstown Fire Department.

The homeowner tried to unclog the toilet first by dumping Liquid Plummer, Horn said. After waiting about a half hour with no results, the person tried plunging and then poured in more of the chemical, Horn said.

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When that didn't work, he purchased a commercial chemical drain opener called Liquid Fire at a local hardware store and poured that in, Horn said.

"They breathed in some pretty nasty fumes," he said.

No information was available about the condition of the unidentified couple.

After neutralizing the chemicals and performing an acidity test on the contents, the fire department and hazardous materials officials left, Horn said.

The drain was still clogged, he said.

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