BURLINGTON (CBS) – The employee who died after a chemical incident at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Burlington has been identified as 32-year-old Ryan Baldera of Lawrence.
Baldera, the general manager, jumped in to help when another employee using a common cleaning agent known as Super 8 on the kitchen floor suddenly became nauseous. Fire officials say the other worker accidentally mixed a second chemical called Scale Kleen that caused a reaction.
Super 8 contains sodium hypochlorite and Scale Kleen is about 50% acid. They had a chemical reaction and started bubbling.
“It was the two products that were on the floor that came in contact that caused the chemical reaction that made everybody sick,” Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson said.
Baldera died after being rushed to the hospital. Thirteen additional people, including employees and patrons, were also hospitalized.
Baldera was married last year and was the father to a newborn baby.
“Ryan was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, and cherished uncle, nephew, and son-in-law, to his close knit family and friends,” his family said in a statement. “While devastated at this unimaginable loss, we are so very proud that Ryan died while trying to protect his fellow employees and restaurant patrons.”
WBZ-TV’s Kristina Rex reports
Those who know Baldera said he had an underlying health condition that may have contributed to the tragedy.
“He had an asthma problem and I think he was using his inhaler outside when he started feeling his symptoms,” a man who did not want to be identified said.
“He was a really good guy and he cared about everyone,” a Buffalo Wild Wings employee told WBZ Friday.
OSHA has been notified and the restaurant has been closed for the investigation.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Baldera family. The Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce has also set up a memorial fund:
“Ryan Baldera Memorial Fund”
Cambridge Savings Bank
214 Cambridge St.
Burlington, MA 01803