Emergency crews respond to hazmat incident at state facility in Rushville

Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 4:48 PM CDT
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RUSHVILLE, Ill. (WGEM) - Officials locked down the Illinois Department of Human Services Treatment and Detention Facility at 17019 Farm County Road in Rushville on Monday due to a hazmat scare in the mail room, officials said.

Officials with the Peoria Fire Department’s hazmat unit said they responded around 11:15 a.m. after a DHS employee discovered a “white powdery substance” in a piece of mail.

Fire officials said the woman felt light-headed and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Schuyler County Sheriff Bill Redshaw said a DHS representative contacted his office Monday morning to ask whether the sheriff’s office had a fentanyl test kit, but officials said they were still unsure Monday night of the nature of the substance.

Peoria Assistant Fire Chief Rick Morgan said as of 5:30 p.m., there was no longer a threat to the community.

“We advised staff here to isolate those rooms and isolate those areas where the product was located, and to have a hazardous material clean up crew come and determine that this room was safe for them and be returned for normal use,” Morgan said.

Illinois State Police and Schuyler County EMS and Fire were among the agencies joining the Peoria Fire Department on the scene.

Department of Human Services communications director Marisa Kallias would not share any details, but said the agency was aware of the situation.

The building’s lockdown ended around 5:30 p.m., according to fire officials.

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