A 55-year-old man died Monday after a chemical spill at Vivid Image – a small manufacturing facility in Dodge County. A second, 65-year-old man was transported to the hospital, and is in critical condition.
Fire trucks, sheriff’s vehicles, and authorities from around Dodge County, including Flight for Life and the Dodge County Hazmat Team converged on the Vivid Image building north of the Village of Theresa. Dodge County Sheriff Todd Nehls said his office received a call around 3:45 Monday afternoon regarding two workers found unconscious inside the facility that makes photographic equipment. Officials reported smelling a strong chemical odor upon arriving on scene.
After putting on protective gear, firefighters found a toxic environment inside the facility. Officials say a paint manufacturing material and industrial glue appear to have accidentally spilled and mixed together. The combination created lethal fumes.
Rescuers removed the two victims from the building, and transported the 65-year-old man to the hospital for treatment. Then, Dodge County emergency workers sealed off the spill site, and decontaminated themselves. They say the building is too toxic to investigate without expertise, which means a grieving family will have to wait for answers.
Workers hope to get in touch with the facility’s owner, in hopes that they’ll find out more about the chemicals, so the situation can be fully neutralized Tuesday, and then they’ll be able to begin their investigation.