Hazmat teams with the Riverside County Fire Department were working to clear an unknown, caustic substance at a recycling center in the 2200 block of Via Cerro in Jurupa Valley.
Calls for a medical emergency came in at around 10:15 a.m. Friday morning.
When first responders arrived, they found one person on the ground and were informed that the situation was a hazardous materials spill within the building.
The patient was brought outside and transported to the hospital, according to a firefighter with RCFD. Six other people then exited the building and were also taken to the hospital in unknown condition.
“We transported two firefighters for cautionary reasons because they did make entry into the facility,” a spokesperson for RCFD told KTLA. He added that both firefighters were treated and have since been released from the hospital.
When hazmat teams made entry into the recycling center, they found a substance in the bottom of a container that tested positive for an unknown caustic material.
“It probably off gassed as they opened it up and the gentleman was standing right there. So, he probably then inhaled, and then as the other employees came around, they took an inhalation of it,” the RCFD spokesperson said. “It was just off gassing when they opened it up.”
The cleanup and investigation was expected to last for several hours.