Mixed chemicals used to drain sink cause toxic fumes to fill Madison home

DOC custodian accidentally mixes dangerous gas

MADISON, Wis. — Toxic fumes caused the occupants of a Fieldwood Road home to get sick Friday after they mixed chemicals to clear a sink drain.

Engine Co. 11 and Medic 4 with the Madison Fire Department responded to the 6900 block of Fieldwood Road just before 4 p.m. on Friday, according to an MFD report. When crews arrived, the residents said they had tried to use sulfuric acid to clear a sink drain. When that didn’t work, they tried using Roto-Rooter drain cleaner.

The mixture of the chemicals then caused toxic fumes that filled the house, causing everyone inside, including pets, to get sick.

Santeen And Draino1

The residents called a plumber to help clear the sink, and he also experienced mild symptoms, according to the report.. A neighbor helped clear the home, but he did not report experiencing symptoms.

All four people — the two residents, the plumber and the neighbor — were evaluated by paramedics. The homeowners sought medical care, but they were not transported via ambulance.

Fire crews helped ventilate the house to ensure it was safe for the residents.