12 people taken to hospital after hazmat situation at rooming house in South End

The five-story rooming house was evacuated Friday afternoon, Boston fire officials said.
Boston Fire Department
The five-story rooming house was evacuated Friday afternoon, Boston fire officials said.

Eleven firefighters and a resident were taken to the hospital after noxious fumes spread through a rooming house in the South End Friday afternoon, the Boston Fire Department said.

Firefighters responded to a Level 3 hazmat situation around 12:15 p.m. at 1740 Washington St., the department said in a tweet. All occupants were evacuated from the five-story brick rooming house.

“There were no injuries. All members went for evaluation. One resident went and I don’t know why. I assume it was for [an] evaluation, but his condition was not life-threatening,” said Brian Alkins, a spokesman for the department.


Firefighters used monitoring devices to determine the cause of the odor, the department said in a tweet at 1:15 p.m.

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The odor was caused by cleaning company employees who mixed two cleaning products, which firefighters believed to be bleach and Murphy Oil Soap, the department said.

“The building was ventilated and there were zero readings on the meters,” the department said in a tweet at 2:08 p.m.

There was no damage to the building, Alkins said. Firefighters took about an hour and a half to determine the cause and ventilate the building.

The building is a unit for Pine Street Inn, which provides housing to homeless people.


“At 2:55 p.m., we were given the all-clear by the Boston Fire Department and residents [were] able to return to their units. We are grateful to the city’s responders and members of the community who called to make sure our tenants were safe,” a spokesperson for Pine Street Inn said in a statement.

The rooming house has a capacity of 32 people, but the fire department did not know how many people live in the building or how many were displaced.

Alyssa Lukpat can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @AlyssaLukpat.