Hazmat incident prompts evacuation of Walmart

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager

Monday, January 7, 2019 at 8:27 a.m.

The North Spokane Walmart was evacuated Sunday night after several employees reported a suspicious substance on money collected. Several employees were transported for evaluation and were released with no injuries.

Last night at approximately 6:45 p.m., members of Spokane County Fire District 9, Spokane Fire Department and American Medical Response (AMR) responded to Walmart (9212 N. Colton St.) for reports of a suspicious substance on money used at a cashier's station causing employees to feel ill.

Fire District 9 arrived on scene first and quickly isolated the area and treated employees. Three members of the Walmart staff were transported by AMR to local hospitals for evaluation and were released with no injuries.

Upon consultation with members of the Spokane Fire Department Hazardous Materials team, it was determined the best course of action was to bring in a full team response to attempt to recover the contaminated bills for analysis. With Walmart evacuated and the Hazardous Materials team in place, an entry team recovered the bills, however, no substance could be located and monitors could not recognize any hazardous materials. All equipment in the isolated area was preventively decontaminated by Hazardous Materials team personnel and the scene was returned to Walmart staff.