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McDonald's reopens after haz-mat incident

Posted November 8, 2009
Updated November 9, 2009

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— A McDonald's restaurant in Knightdale has reopened after a haz-mat incident sent six people to the hospital Sunday morning.

McDonald's haz-mat incident hospitalizes six McDonald's haz-mat incident hospitalizes six

Investigators haven't determined the nature or cause of the haz-mat situation, which was reported at 7141 Knightdale Blvd. around 10:15 a.m. Wake EMS crews and Knightdale firefighters and police responded.

Three people were transported to WakeMed, two to Rex Hospital and one to Duke Health Raleigh, said Jeffrey Hammerstein, district chief with Wake County Emergency Medical Services. WakeMed and Rex had treated and released its patients by Sunday evening.

"They had mild upper respiratory complaints, burning eyes (and) mouth," Hammerstein said of the symptoms.

Others who were exposed were checked out by EMS workers in the parking lot, Hammerstein said. All were expected to be OK.

A firefighter was also treated for exposure and released from Rex Hospital, according to Knightdale Fire Chief Tim Guffey.

Phillip Currence, of Charlotte, said he, his sister and a friend were getting coffee when they suddenly noticed customers coughing. Their throats then got itchy, he said, so the three went outside. There, they found more people coughing.

"My throat started scratching, started itching, like not really choking but itching," Currence described. "Everybody went outside, and then I started feeling it."

His sister, Linda Kay Norris, called 911. Currence said he and Norris both started coughing and were taken to WakeMed. They were in stable condition Sunday.

An employee said she also started coughing in the restaurant but was now fine.

Nearby buildings did not have to be evacuated, and employees were instructed to wait outside in the parking lot.

Guffey said the restaurant reopened Sunday evening after a health inspector checked out the facility. The cause of the haz-mat situation remained unknown, Guffey said.

Currence said experiencing a haz-mat situation made for an interesting visit to Raleigh, but he wouldn't hesitate to go the McDonald's again.

"I think it was an isolated incident. Things happen," he said. "If I get a chance to go back to McDonald's, I'll go back tomorrow."


This story is closed for comments.

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  • bubbba Nov 9, 2009

    I weigh almost 300 and I wont eat anything from any McDonalds.
    The food is Haz Mat.

  • Shadow213 Nov 9, 2009

    sounds like pepper spray or something

  • manofjustice Nov 9, 2009

    That McDonald's has the best whoppers in town. I love going there. I might go there this evening for dinner.

  • Here kitty kitty Nov 9, 2009

    I do hate going there because I can't understand them. I had a worker show up from my HOA to do some checking on my home and I had to email HOA to find out what he said. Sorry if it hurts your senses, but it's the truth. Go to that McD's and see if I'm fibbing.

  • djcgriffin Nov 9, 2009

    Suchagoodboy...kick rocks. People like you, I swear.

  • cary1969 Nov 9, 2009

    did anyone check the restroom...probably where it came from

  • aintbackingdwn Nov 9, 2009

    It was Knightdale - That explains it - it was just the usual outdoor odors that are typical for that town.

  • buco Nov 9, 2009

    Their are workers at that micky d's that speak very good english. In face the one in Knigtdale has the best cusutomer service of any one I have been in, and it is because of the high percentage of latino's and not black and whites

  • oldschooltarheel Nov 9, 2009

    soooo.... whatever happened to the old "who, what, when, where, why, how" of journalism? Award-winning content? Really?

  • computer trainer Nov 9, 2009

    According to WTVD: A McDonald’s spokesperson who contacted ABC11 said some sort of smoke came from a hand dryer in one of their restrooms. The spokesperson said the dryer had some sort of dark residue on it that could potentially be linked to vandalism.

    McDonald’s said a check of the ventilation system revealed that there wasn’t anything wrong with the system. The exact cause of the hazardous fumes has yet to be determined.

    Would appear to me that WRAL posted and then promptly forgot about this.