Man hospitalized, Fall River apartment building uninhabitable, due to mercury contamination


FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Hazmat crews deemed an apartment building on Hamlet Street uninhabitable Saturday afternoon due to mercury contamination.

District Chief Michael Clark tells Eyewitness News, back on January 25th, a 51-year-old man tried to melt a couple of old fillings he likely believed were made of silver.  

They were not. 

On January 28th the man was hospitalized after feeling sick, and has been there since.

“It was really strange the way that it happened, like I said this started on January 25th and we finally got the call to go down because nobody, they didn’t realize what was happening,” District Chief Clark said.

According to investigators, the man had obtained the fillings from his grandfather who was a dentist.

Since the initial incident, a dog and two cats from the apartment have died.  The district fire chief says the man’s girlfriend called the apartment management company who then called the fire department.

“There were elevated levels in the apartment and in the hallway and near the outer doors of the upper floor apartments too,” District Chief Clark said.

No one from the fire department tested positived for mercury, but a 17-year-old girl who was in the apartment did.

“She seemed to be in fine shape, but she was exposed to mercury so they had to test her further,” District Chief Clark said.

We’re told, the management company has made living arrangements for residents. 

Before anyone can live in the home, the district fire chief says a very specialized cleanup crew will have to clean the entire building, a very labor intensive operation.

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