Over 100 TX Firefighters Possibly Exposed to Asbestos in Fire

May 11, 2021
Around 115 Austin firefighters are receiving X-rays as a precaution after potential asbestos exposure during a three-alarm fire at a city-owned warehouse.

More than 100 Texas firefighters were potentially exposed to asbestos during a warehouse fire last week.

The possible exposure happened May 6 while Austin Fire Department crews were responding to a three-alarm fire at a city-owned building in the St. John's neighborhood, KXAN-TV reports. Although officials are concerned about the presence of asbestos in the warehouse, it wasn't immediately known what was housed inside the building.

As a precaution, roughly 115 firefighters who battled the fire are getting X-rays, department spokeswoman Michelle Tanzola told KXAN in an email.

"Should they develop some sort of medical issue later as a result that needed treatment, establishing a baseline record and paperwork now ensures less red tape later for them to get care, even though it would be covered under the presumptive law regardless,” Tanzola wrote. “We want to take care of our folks, and doing this protects them both while they’re still working for us and into retirement, too.”

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.