Pool chemical mixture leads to small explosion

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 16, 2012

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — A couple escaped Sunday night with what authorities said appeared to be minor injuries after a small explosion in their Stokes Ferry Road home.
Tisha and Dennis Brown of 11690 Stokes Ferry Road were being treated in the emergency room at Rowan Regional Medical Center at press time, but their condition appeared to be stable, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Tisha Brown mixed chlorine pool shock treatment — a powder — with a small amount of water inside the house, causing a “violent chemical reaction,” said Frank Thomason, director of Rowan County EMS.
She suffered minor chemical burns, Thomason said, and she and Dennis Brown fled the house and called a relative.
The house filled with chlorine gas, which the couple may have breathed, Thomason said.
“That’s what we are most concerned about — the inhalation,” he said.
Two members of the Rowan-Salisbury Hazmat Team entered the home about 10:30 p.m. to find any remaining powder material and determine whether there could be another reaction, Thomason said.
No one should enter the home until remediation specialists give the all-clear, he said.
The Browns have an outdoor swimming pool. It appeared Tisha Brown was pre-mixing shock treatment to dump into the pool, authorities said, but the powder should be distributed directly into a large body of water.
“Don’t mix chemicals inside, and read and follow all instructions,” Thomason said.
He said he was relieved the Browns walked away from the incident, which had the potential to be much worse.
“She could have been severely injured,” Thomason said.
Responders also included Liberty Volunteer Fire Department, Rowan County EMS and fire investigators.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.