Cleaning solution blamed for Neillsville medical center evacuation

Patients were evacuated from Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville Friday night after complaints of a chemical smell in the building.

The fire department was called just after 6 p.m. Friday when maintenance workers reported a strong chemical odor.  They shut down the ventilation system to keep the smell from spreading.

When fire crews arrived, they evacuated the hospital, clinic and assisted living units as a precaution.

They later traced the smell to a maintenance elevator in the lower level of the hospital.  They eventually determined the smell was coming from a solution used to clean instruments that had leaked from a sealed container.  The ventilation system spread the smell through the building.

Patients were moved back into the building after fire crews gave the "all clear" at 7:25 p.m.  There were no injuries or damage reported.

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