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Ottawa Y shut down to handle spill Thursday

Ottawa firefighters responded at 1:14 p.m. Thursday to the Ottawa YMCA for a report of a woman coughing from a reaction to a chemical.

The building was evacuated for a chemical spill in the filter room under the pool as firefighters arrived.

YMCA Executive Director Joe Capece said the facility was evacuated for an hour and a half as some spilled pool chemicals blended with water on the floor causing fumes to go through the building.

"Unfortunately it's an incident that occasionally can occur," Capece said. "We don't like to see that, but we got everyone out in a timely fashion."

The fire department was called and tested the acidic/alkaline levels in the building with pH paper.

Capece said firefighters created a wind tunnel in the facility to fan the fumes. The building was ventilated and pH levels returned to normal.

Capece said one woman was checked and cleared. No other injuries were identified.

The facility was safe to use after ventilation but as an extra precaution, the after-school program that usually meets at the facility moved to Open Table United Church of Christ.

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