Cleaning mishap spurs hazmat investigation at Roanoke apartment building

Fire Department says there's a smell of sulfur in building


Firefighters have determined that the sulfur smell at the Cotton Mill Lofts in Roanoke was a chemical odor.

Someone was trying to clean a clogged drain with a cleaning solution that was designed for clearing clogged pipes, according to a Roanoke Fire-EMS spokesperson. 

No one was hurt, and residents were allowed back inside just before 4 a.m. Some of them had gone to stay with friends for the evening while others waited. 

Maintenance and management staff members stayed on scene alongside the fire department. 


The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is assisting the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department determine the cause of a sulfur smell at the Cotton Mill Lofts in downtown Roanoke.

The building was evacuated shortly before 11 p.m. Monday. Residents poured into the streets around the building and have been told to wait for more information.

Roanoke Fire-EMS spokeswoman Tiffany Bradbury said crews responded to a sulfur smell in the building but have been unable to identify its cause yet. Firefighters are using equipment to try to locate the source of the smell.

It does not appear that anyone has been injured.


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