MALDEN (CBS) – A possible chemical spill at a Malden health care facility sent 17 people to area hospitals Friday.

The employees at the Hallmark Health Center on Savin St. mysteriously became sick, forcing the evacuation of the building.

“People on the third, fourth and fifth floors having respiratory, nausea,” said Malden Fire Deputy Chief Stephen Almeida.

“The hazmat team did a great job they went in, checked all the floors, they went to the roof,” Almeida said.

After several hours the building was given the all clear. But the question remains, what caused the employees to get sick?

“It was a small amount of formaldehyde, but so little that it’s hard to say what it really could have been,” Almeida said.

“Certainly, I’d like to know what it was and I guess I’m reassured by the fact that there were lots of people here today that said it was safe to go in, so I did go in and finish my paperwork for the day,” said Dr. Patricia Sereno who works in the building.

All the patients were released from the hospital Friday night.


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