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Fire extinguisher residue sickens 5 hotel employees

Efforts to clean extinguisher cause problems for Hilton Garden Inn workers

Five employees from the Hilton Garden Inn in Lake Oswego were treated for breathing problems Sunday after all were sickened by powder from a fire extinquisher when they tried to clean it.

Reports came into the Lake Oswego 9-1-1 center shortly before noon that employees at the hotel were not feeling well after making contact with an unknown powder.

Three fire engines, two hazardous-materials teams and three ambulances rushed to the building at 14850 Kruse Oaks Drive.

Employees there complained of respiratory troubles and were having difficulty breathing. They were treated with oxygen while rescuers determined that the powder was from a fire extinguisher. The very fine powder can cause irritation to the lungs.

The employees told firefighters they had been cleaning up the powder when all had trouble breathing.

It is not known who discharged the fire extinguisher or why.

All but one of the employees was treated and released at the scene. One person was taken to a hospital for an unrelated medical problem.