WEST PARK, FLA. (WSVN) - A death investigation involving a hazmat situation is underway at a West Park home.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies and Hollywood Fire Rescue responded to a home along Southwest 54th Avenue and 24th Street, Wednesday morning.
According to BSO, a 15-year-old was brought to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and pronounced dead at around 9 a.m. A medical examiner is now investigating to determine the cause of death.
“The doctors there were also concerned that there was a strange odor coming from the victim, possibly of gas,” BSO spokesperson Veda Coleman Wright said. “Very sad what this family is going through. They are talking with our investigators, and I can tell you our folks are trying their best to determine exactly what happened.”
A family member identified the teen as Lorven Julien. His uncle Jacques Monfiston said he was throwing up Tuesday night and was very sick. The family took him to the hospital, and doctors sent him back home. Lorven died hours later.
“By the time the boy throw up– when he eats sometimes, he throws up,” Monfiston said. “When he watches something, he throws up.”
No one else inside of the home was ill, and the family said there are no chemicals inside.
“I’ve been there since 2009, and we have no chemicals inside,” Monfiston said.
Upon arrival to the teen’s home, firefighters were overcome by fumes from inside the home, officials said. One firefighter suffered burns through his gear as a result.
“One of the deputies, as he was coming out, he complained about having trouble breathing,” Wright said. “Our firefighters went in. They were in full protective gear. They went inside to investigate, and one of the firefighters, from exposure to some unknown chemical, suffered a second-degree burn, and he had to be transported to Memorial Regional Hospital, as well.”
The deputy was then transported to a nearby hospital.
7SkyForce hovered over the scene where rescue crews arrived wearing hazmat gear. They brought out steel drums from the property. The drums appeared to be 55-gallon, the type used to typically store chemicals.
According to officials, the family uses the drums to transport goods and supplies to and from Haiti.
“The deputy and the firefighter, they were exposed inside the home, and the drums are outside of the home,” Wright said. “Not ignoring anything at this point, but the drums may not have anything to do with it. They’re taking samples. They’re looking at the drums. They’re also testing them to try to analyze them to figure out what exactly is this that we’re dealing with. ‘Is this a hazardous chemical? Why did this child die?'”
The hazmat team performed three sweeps of the home. They concluded there was no trace of vapors or substances that could have caused the teenager’s death, and there were no samples to take back to a laboratory.
Andrina Adams, Lorven’s neighbor, was shocked when she heard the 15-year-old had died.
“He’s strong. He’s tall. He’s very tall. They were just out there not too long ago playing,” Adams said. “He was a really good guy. Who would’ve thought something like this would have happened?”
Officials are now awaiting the results of the autopsy.
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