Chemicals Found at Oakland Man’s Death Scene Could Have Posed Hazards to First Responders
Petrolia Fire crews did CPR for a long time, Coleman said. Eventually the man, David Charles Yale Bush, from Oakland was pronounced dead. A deputy coroner was dispatched to the scene as well as members of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office.
Meanwhile, inside the car, crew members discovered two containers of chemicals that were unknown to them, explained Coleman. Humboldt Bay’s Hazmat team came out to test the materials.
“Sulfuric acid and [formic]* acid were the chemicals in the vehicle that required a HAZ MAT response from Humboldt Bay Fire Department,” explained Coleman. Coleman said that those two chemicals can make carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can be lethal in enclosed spaces. According to this abstract of an article in a scientific journal, when present in enclosed spaces, it “poses significant hazards for death investigators, first responders and bystanders.”An autopsy for the deceased has been scheduled for this Friday in order to discover the cause of death.
Anyone with information should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Earlier Chapter: Coroner Responding to a Death in Petrolia; Hazmat Situation
Note: An earlier version of this story said that fumaric acid was one of the chemicals used. That is incorrect.