Man dies from hazardous materials, apartment building evacuated

GLEN BURNIE, Md. - One man is dead and an apartment building had to be evacuated, because of a hazardous materials situation in Glen Burnie.

Tuesday evening, hazardous materials crews in protective gear could be seen inside the building in the Burwood Gardens Apartments near Route 2.

Around 4 p.m., the Anne Arundel County Fire Department got a 911 call -- about a chemical odor in the building.

“Once inside they discovered a hazmat situation, from a mixing of some chemicals. We're not sure what those chemicals are at this point,” said Lt. Craig Oldershaw, a spokesman for the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

Fire officials the chemicals are common household items that only become dangerous when they're mixed together.

Crews also found a sign on the bathroom door of one unit -- warning them that dangerous chemicals were inside.

The man who lived in that apartment was found dead in the bathroom.

“It was definitely someone doing something mixing chemicals in the building, and as a result there is a fatality,” Lt. Oldershaw said.

The fumes spread to other parts of the building.  Rescue crews had to take two people -- from different apartments -- to a local hospital for treatment. They are expected to survive.

At first, people who live in the entire complex felt they were at risk from a gas leak. Many of them left for the night, along with their pets.

"They said this whole area is a hazard zone so I'm just taking my animals and leaving,” said resident Margaret Eggert.

But after crews found out where the chemicals had come from, only people who lived in the building where the victim was found were forced to evacuate

“Our hazardous materials team needs to go in, secure the chemicals, ventilate the building, take readings, making sure that everything is safe, the air quality is the nature that propel can re-occupy their apartments,” Lt. Oldershaw said.

Anne Arundel County's Housing Authority helped some residents find a place to stay Tuesday night.

Police have not released the name of the man who died.

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