1 hospitalized after hazmat situation at NW Miami-Dade assisted living facility

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Hazmat crews descended on an assisted living facility in Northwest Miami-Dade after a foul odor was reported, causing an elderly woman to be taken to the hospital.

7Skyforce hovered above the Palm Towers off Northwest 95th Street, near Seventh Avenue, late Thursday afternoon, as Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews brought out the victim and her small dog in a stretcher after she was overcome by the strange smell. She was taken to an area hospital.

Rescuers were dispatched to the scene after residents reported a strong chemical odor at the facility, just before 4:30 p.m.

“It smells like a little between gasoline and like fertilizer,” said resident Jason Gibson.

Officials said the smell traveled through the building after a contractor began using a cement sealer in the elevator shaft.

“Through their investigation, they found that there was a contractor today sealing concrete in the elevator shaft,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Kirsten Miller.

Officials reached out to Miami Beach Fire Rescue for assistance, as crews ventilated the building and examined residents.

Just before 6 p.m., 7News cameras captured firefighters on the roof of the building.

“So we opened the hatches in the top. All elevator systems have some kind of a hatch that you can open,” said Miller.

In all, close to 75 firefighters responded to the scene.

Crews were able to contain the odor to the elevator shaft. Firefighters saw no need to evacuate the other residents inside.

“At this time, it’s not in any units. None of the residents in the building are in any harm,” said Miller. “They’re what’s called being sheltered in place.”

However, some chose to exit the building.

“I came out on my own because I was sitting in my house,” said a woman.

The elderly woman who was taken to the hospital is expected to be OK.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews remained inside the building for hours but started to clear at around 9 p.m. However, two units stayed overnight to monitor the situation.

Northwest 95th Street was shut down between Eighth and Ninth avenues for hours while crews investigated. The roadways were reopened to traffic just before 9:30 p.m.

Officials stressed that the air quality levels inside the Palm Towers are now safe.

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