Rhode Island Blaze Exposes Firefighters to Cyanide

April 24, 2009

Eight firefighters have been taken to a hospital as a precaution after being exposed to cyanide gas while battling a four-alarm blaze at a boat yard in Portsmouth.

Fire Chief Jeffrey Lynch said a ninth firefighter was being treated for a leg injury, and a National Grid employee was also hospitalized.

The fire broke out around dawn Thursday at New England Boatworks. Firefighters have contained the flames, but were still working to extinguish the fire completely.

A woman who answered the phone at New England Boatworks said the company did not yet have any comment.

The private boat building company employs about 80 to 90 people, but workers at adjacent businesses were also being kept away from the area.

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