RK residue

Glasgow Fire Department vehicles are parked outside Rural King toward the end of an investigation into a residual substance with an odor that was in a barrel that had been sold from and returned to there earlier in the evening Thursday. The residue turned out to be a food-grade extract. Melinda J. Overstreet / Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW – Residue of a “food-grade extract” in a barrel sold at Rural King was the culprit responsible for the store's being closed for roughly two hours as a precaution while emergency services personnel worked to determine the issue, the Glasgow Daily Times was told Thursday evening as the incident was drawing to a close.

A Glasgow Fire Department press release Friday further clarified that the material was a “flavoring food additive for human consumption.”

Glasgow fire and police departments, Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management and Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services responded to the store at 230 S. L. Rogers Wells Blvd. at approximately 6:46 p.m., the former Big Kmart location, to investigate are report of suspicious material coming from a barrel.

GPD Maj. Terry Flatt, who serves as public information officer, said Thursday a person had purchased the barrel from the store earlier in the day and removed it from the property and was then washing it out when that person detected a strong odor coming from it, so that person returned it to the store, seeking a refund.

“Precautionary measures were taken due to the strong odor in the barrel, and the fire department responded out here and decontaminated some folks,” he said.

GFD Chief Dereck Rogers said Thursday that according to Rural King, it was supposed to be an empty barrel.

“They buy these and sell them for reuse,” he said.

Despite some reports that liquid was coming from the container, the fire chief said, “there was a little bit of residue in there.”

A sample was taken by emergency management personnel to Bowling Green to have it checked out, and that's when it was determined it was a food-grade extract.

Rogers said the store was cleared as a precaution.

“Until we knew what we were dealing with, we wanted to make sure that there wasn't any kind of contamination. Some people did go to the hospital for evaluation, so we made sure we [decontaminated] them here at the scene before we sent them to the hospital, just as a precautionary measure to make sure that there wasn't anything and no one else was contaminated,” he said.

Some complained of burning eyes and runny noses and things like that, the fire chief said, and they learned that the substance in there could produce those symptoms. He likened it to the reaction some would have walking into a store where there are a lot of strong fragrances.

Flatt said a total of 17 people were decontaminated, and out of those, six were transported from the scene by ambulance and three went to the hospital in personal vehicles.

Rogers said the information about what the substance was had been sent to the hospital so the patients could be informed, and the store had been cleared for people to re-enter it, but that was after the store's normal closing time of 9 p.m. Emergency responders had begun cleaning and packing up to leave at 9:55 p.m.

The Friday press release said units were on the scene for approximately four and a half hours.

The Rural King store referred a call from the Daily Times to its corporate office, and a message was left for the marketing manager there early Friday afternoon.

••• ORIGINAL STORY ••• 

GLASGOW – Residue of a “food-grade extract” in a barrel sold at Rural King was the culprit responsible for the store's being closed for roughly two hours Thursday evening as a precaution while emergency services personnel worked to determine the issue.

Glasgow fire and police departments, Glasgow-Barren County Emergency Management and Barren-Metcalfe County Emergency Medical Services responded to the store at 230 S. L. Rogers Wells Blvd. at approximately 6:46 p.m., the former Big Kmart location, after a strong odor was determined to be coming from the barrel.

GPD Maj. Terry Flatt, who serves as public information officer, said a person had purchased the barrel from the store earlier in the day and removed it from the property and was then washing it out when that person detected a strong odor coming from it, so that person returned it to the store, seeking a refund.

“Precautionary measures were taken due to the strong odor in the barrel, and the fire department responded out here and decontaminated some folks,” he said.

GFD Chief Dereck Rogers said that according to Rural King, it was supposed to be an empty barrel.

“They buy these and sell them for reuse,” he said.

Despite some reports that liquid was coming from the container, the fire chief said, “there was a little bit of residue in there.”

A sample was taken by emergency management personnel to Bowling Green to have it checked out, and that's when it was determined it was a food-grade extract.

Rogers said the store was cleared as a precaution.

“Until we knew what we were dealing with, we wanted to make sure that there wasn't any kind of contamination. Some people did go to the hospital for evaluation, so we made sure we [decontaminated] them here at the scene before we sent them to the hospital, just as a precautionary measure to make sure that there wasn't anything and no one else was contaminated,” he said.

Some complained of burning eyes and runny noses and things like that, the fire chief said, and they learned that the substance in there could produce those symptoms. He likened it to the reaction some would have walking into a store where there are a lot of strong fragrances.

Flatt said a total of 17 people were decontaminated, and out of those, six were transported from the scene by ambulance and three went to the hospital in personal vehicles.

Rogers said the information about what the substance was had been sent to the hospital so the patients could be informed, and the store had been cleared for people to re-enter it, but that was after the store's normal closing time of 9 p.m. Emergency responders had begun cleaning and packing up to leave at 9:55 p.m.

Recommended for you