Colorado Springs, CO-Colorado Springs fire crews may have been exposed to a potentially deadly cancer-causing agent known as asbestos, when they responded to a house fire on Thursday, December 31, 2009. Firefighters rushed the house fire on the 5200 block of Tomah Circle around 6:15 p.m., where no injuries were reported, as reported by KKTV News 11.Colorado Springs firefighters managed to get the blaze under control, which damaged only one room in the household.
Three adults were at the home when the fire ignited and managed to escape after calling 911, when they heard popping noises and saw smoke. Fire officials are investigating the fire. The residents of the home are currently displaced while crews determine if asbestos is present in the home.
The brave firefighters who battled the blaze may have unknowingly been exposed to the toxic asbestos fibers that may have been released into the air as the fire burned inside the home. Officials, residents, and onlookers, who were at the scene and not wearing protective gear, also could have inhaled the dangerous insulation material.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) http://www.epa.gov reported that according to some estimates, up to 35 million homes across the nation may be insulated with asbestos-contaminated Zonolite; the asbestos-containing insulation could become airborne if a fire broke out, or if any insulation was damaged prior to the blaze, which increases its chances of becoming airborne.