May 16–It was a case of better safe than sorry that brought a team of Vallejo Fire Department personnel and Solano County hazmat equipment to a Vallejo trucking company on Lewis Brown Drive early Monday.
“A call came in at about 4 a.m. from (R+L Carriers) staff who said they smelled something unusual and were slightly overcome, and one felt nauseated,” Vallejo Fire Department spokesman Matt Choy said at the scene. “They called 911.”
One woman was taken to a local hospital, treated and released, he said.
An R+L employee who declined to identify himself, because he’s not authorized to speak to the press, said the one woman vomited but then felt better and, in fact, returned to work where she remained early Monday afternoon.
“We had something that smelled like really strong chocolate, and this one employee reacted to it,” he said. “We thought it might have been coming from Recology — the garbage company, which is right behind us — but it wasn’t.”
A woman from the company’s headquarters in Florida was told to tell the press that they have no comment and to hang up.
Choy said there was a manifest for the truck in question that contained a couple of items that were vague in their descriptions, so testing needed to be done to determine what may have sickened the employee.
“It turned out to be a unique situation,” Choy said. “They went in and explored all the pallets and packages and found nothing. But, there was something real enough to send someone to the hospital, and it’s a trucking company, so it could be anything, so, that’s how we had to approach it.”
Authorities tested the 28-foot trailer the smell was coming from but found nothing, the employee said.
Authorities were there for hours, though mostly they were waiting for the appropriate equipment and personnel to arrive, said Bill Tweedy of Flame-4-Ensics, who contracts with the Vallejo Fire Department.
“All that for nothing,” the employee said.
“It turned out to be a nothing type of call, which was weird, because I really thought it was going to be something,” Choy said.
This is the first such incident at R+L in more than a decade the employee said he’s been with the company.
Contact Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at (707) 553-6824.
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