Hazmat team called for acid spill at Hilo warehouse

Nine Hawaii Fire Department units, including a hazardous materials team, responded early Thursday morning to an acid spill in Hilo’s Kanoelehua Industrial Area.

According to a written fire department statement, the spill at HITCO Moving &Storage at 144 Makaala St. came from a pallet containing 70 one-gallon bottles of muriatic acid.


Seventeen personnel were dispatched at 6:17 a.m. to the company’s warehouse, with the first unit on scene five minutes later.

The hazmat unit used an alkaline base and absorbent to neutralize the 6-foot-by-6-foot area of the spilled acid — which is a solution of hydrochloric acid in water used in industrial-strength cleaning.

Once the scene was stabilized, it was returned to the business to work with a decontamination contractor. The last unit was back in quarters at 9:51 a.m.

Fire Battalion Chief Matthias Kusch said evacuation of the area wasn’t necessary.


“The employees there knew to close off” the warehouse, Kusch said.

No injuries were reported, and the state Department of Health was advised of the situation, according to the statement.

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