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Old chemicals found at St. Maria Goretti High School

Hagerstown Fire Department Battalion Chief Russell Grim: Items appear to be from chemistry lab

December 06, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

Authorities responded to St. Maria Goretti High School on Oak Hill Avenue on Thursday afternoon to help the school dispose of old chemicals that were found there, a Hagerstown Fire Department spokesman said.

A couple ounces of chemicals were found at the school Thursday and school officials contacted authorities about how to dispose of the chemicals, said Hagerstown Fire Department Battalion Chief Russell Grim.

“This is the best way to take care of it,” Grim said at the school.

Grim described the material as red phosphorus acid.

The chemicals were no longer being used, said Grim, who added he was not sure what the red phosphorus was used for.

“It could have been there for years,” Grim said.

Grim said the chemicals were associated with the school’s chemistry lab.

The Maryland Department of the Environment cleaned up the chemicals and the Hagerstown Fire Department stood by, Grim said.

After the chemicals were cleaned up, a rag that was used was burned, Grim said.

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Several rescue units were parked outside the school as officials worked at the scene.

There was no hazard associated with the chemicals and authorities conducted the clean-up after school when no one was around, Grim said.

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