Biofuel Experiment Evacuates Apartments
PORTLAND - A man trying to make alternative fuel caused a hazmat
situation over the weekend at a Portland apartment building.
hazmatHazardous-materials crews responded Saturday after toxic smoke
filled homes at a complex on Southeast 12th. Ten people were hospitalized.
Portland Fire and Rescue officials say Thom Gambaro was experimenting
with chemicals, including mercury, in hopes of producing hydrogen that
could be harnessed for power. Instead, he started a small fire.
The building is now being cleaned and ventilated so the 21 residents can
move back. The OK is expected Monday or Tuesday.
"They don't want anyone back in there until he contractor can verify
that they have everything cleanup and the levels, especially the
mercury, are not high enough to be imminent danger to life," Lt. Dave
Centers told KOIN News 6.
Gambaro apologized, saying he was trying to help the environment.
Investigators say the chemicals were not illegal and Gambaro will not
face criminal charges.