Hazmat spill closes Bolivar post office Friday morning

BOLIVAR, Tenn. — A hazmat spill early Friday morning in Bolivar has been cleared after temporarily causing the post office to close.

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 3.30.08 PMEmployees had to evacuate the building because of the spill. The Bolivar Fire Department, EMA and even first responders from Madison County responded to the hazmat scare along Market Street after a spill inside a mail delivery truck.

Fire officials said the driver spilled diesel fuel and tried to clean it up with cat litter, coffee grinds and moth balls.

“And he figured he can clean it and make it smell better by doing that, and he really didn’t know he was just mixing lots of stuff together just to give out an odor,” Chief Lynn Price of the Bolivar Fire Department said.

The driver and a post office employee were taken to the hospital after inhaling the toxic mix.

“We got two people over at the hospital, and the guy that owned the truck, we hadn’t made contact with him yet,” Price said.

Chief Price said both people are doing OK.

“It’s under control. We’re just getting ready to make sure that we don’t put people back in harm’s way,” Price said.

Price said there is still a bit of an odor but that the post office reopened around 12:30 p.m.

Fire officials said employees were waiting since 8:30 a.m. While they waited, the fire department provided them with blankets and snacks.

The postmaster and first responders did a final walk through the building before reopening it to the public.

“We’re hoping that once they get back in, all the mail cleared, that the post office just opens for normal routine business,” Chief Price said.

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