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5 children, 3 adults hospitalized after chlorine leak at Catholic Club

  • CTY-leak-3

    Authoriities respond to a chlorine leak at the Catholic Club downtown on October 19.

    The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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  • CTY-leak-2

    Authorities respond to a chlorine leak at the Catholic Club downtown on October 19.

    The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
    Buy This Image

  • CTY-leak-1

    Authorities respond to a chlorine leak at the Catholic Club downtown on October 19.

    The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
    Buy This Image

  • CTY-leak

    Authorities respond to a chlorine leak at the Catholic Club downtown on October 19.

    The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
    Buy This Image

Five pre-school children and three adults were sent to local hospitals for respiratory problems Thursday after an unknown amount of chlorine was released into the pool at the Catholic Club near downtown Toledo, authorities said.

Four children, all 4 years old, two adult lifeguards and a third adult were taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center by Toledo Fire and Lucas County EMS squads. A fifth child, believed to be a 3-year-old, was reportedly taken by a parent to ProMedica Toledo Hospital for treatment, a fire official said.

CTY-leak-3

Authoriities respond to a chlorine leak at the Catholic Club downtown on October 19.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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Erica Blake, a spokesman for Mercy Health, said two of the four children were admitted to the hospital. She said the other children and three adults were released after receiving treatment.

Toledo Fire Department Battalion Chief Brent Wettle said witnesses reported the five children were in the pool about 11 a.m. when the chlorine was released into the water.

He said one of the adult lifeguards — a 19-year-old man — immediately took the children out of the water and began rinsing them with clean water to remove the chlorine.

"He rinsed them, which was completely appropriate. He really did a nice job," Chief Wettle said.

Seven other children, who authorities said may have been in the pool earlier, were in the locker room. They were evaluated but have been deemed OK after being evaluated at the scene.

CTY-leak-2

Authorities respond to a chlorine leak at the Catholic Club downtown on October 19.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
Enlarge | Buy This Image

The children are enrolled in a Head Start class at the Catholic Club, 1601 Jefferson Ave.

Chief Wettle said firefighters entering the building asked dispatchers to send the hazardous materials unit response team after determining they were dealing with chlorine, which is considered a hazardous material.

He said the unit found high concentrations of the chemical in the water but they didn't detect hazardous levels in the air, allowing firefighters to work without protective gear.

Shannon Lands, spokesman for the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, said staff from the environmental health division were sent to the Catholic Club to begin the investigation into the source and cause of the chlorine.

"We are still trying to piece everything together," she said.

Health department records show the pool was last inspected in May. Inspectors found no critical problems with the water. However, they did issue non-critical violations for having the alkalinity below 60 parts per million and having the water temperature exceed 90 degrees.

Contact Mark Reiter at markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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