Rock Co. Courthouse closed following chemical spill, one person take to hospital

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JANESVILLE, Wis. (WMTV) -- One person was hospitalized during a chemical spill that left the Rock County Courthouse closed on Friday.

A Rock County Facilities Management employee exposed to the chemical cloud was taken to a local hospital for treatment, and a sheriff's deputy was treated on scene, according to a statement from Troy Knudson, Rock County Sheriff.

Officials with the Rock County Sheriff's office, Janesville Police and Fire were dispatched to the Rock County Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. for a possible chemical incident, according to the Janesville Fire Department.

The statement says that a facilities management worker was mixing chemicals to treat water for the courthouse air cooling system, when the fire alarm at the courthouse was activated, according to the release. This was an accidental incident, according to the Janesville Fire Department.

Ultimately, everyone was evacuated from the courthouse, and the air handling system was closed in order to prevent the chemical cloud from spreading.

Janesville Fire Department HAZMAT team was sent to the scene, and around 9:30 a.m., the courthouse was closed for the day. HAZMAT remains on scene for clean up.

The HAZMAT team isolated the gas, evacuated the building and ventilated the area. Crews remained on scene until a private company removed the chemicals. The Janesville Fire Department did not disclose the name of the company.

After the private company removed the chemicals, courthouse workers were able to return to the building, at approximately 4 p.m., according to the Janesville Fire Department.

Employees that have personal belongings at the courthouse will be notified after 5 p.m. about pick up arrangements.

In total, 23 firefighters were on scene at the incident.