Asbestos Found at Controlled Burn Site

When firefighters set an old commercial building on fire at a controlled burn site in Westbrook, Maine last week, they found a huge surprise when the smoke had cleared – asbestos.

According to a story aired on WCSH – TV6, volunteer firefighters who were practicing firefighting techniques and participating in other training exercises at the old building were shocked to find asbestos in the basement of the structure. The discovery indicated not only a danger to the firefighters but also the need to clean up the site after the fire had been put out.

City officials said the clean up would require the services of a professional environmental company licensed in asbestos abatement. They contacted the owner of local Biosafe Company, who agreed to foot the $4000 to $5000 bill for the cleanup.

“Being in Westbrook and being a business in Westbrook, I’ve never really never done anything for the city in the past, but being here I thought it would be a gesture of goodwill being a business owner in a local community, helping a local community out,” said Mark Coleman from Biosafe.

A similar problem occurred at a training site in Massachusetts earlier this year. During that exercise, firefighters were not wearing respirators and may have inhaled dangerous asbestos fibers, which can cause mesothelioma cancer and other similar lung diseases.

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