Hazardous materials found, disposed of in Manchester

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MANCHESTER >> Hazardous materials found in the basement of a home on Canterbury Road were safely disposed of on Thursday.

Manchester Fire Chief Phil Bourn said that on Wednesday, a local cleaning company was hired to clear out the basement of a home where a jeweler stored a number of chemicals. Among them was picric acid, a liquid that can solidify over time. In its solid form, it's highly unstable, he said.

A member of the cleaning crew also happened to be a member of the Arlington Fire Department. He recognized the picric acid for what it was and alerted authorities. Bourn said the Vermont State Hazardous Materials Response Team and the Vermont State Police Bomb Squad were contacted, and arrived on Thursday. They removed the acid from the basement and ignited it safely outside. The basement will be searched for any other hazardous materials.

Bourn said the chemicals have been in the basement for many years. The woman who lives in the home was able to remain there overnight, but had to leave for a few hours while the chemicals were taken care of.

— Keith Whitcomb Jr.


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