At 8:26am Center Moriches Fire Department received a call from Kurt Weiss Greenhouse on Montauk Highway reporting an unknown odor in their break room and multiple employees feeling ill.
When fire officials arrived on scene, they were met by the facility manager who reported approximately 25 employees were in a breakroom eating breakfast when they were suddenly overcome by some type of irritant. The employees were immediately removed from the break room into the fresh air and the affected area was cordoned off.
Center Moriches Fire Department Emergency Medical Personnel began to triage 26 affected individuals. Once it was determined they were dealing with a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) and would need additional resources, Stony Brook University Hospital Medic 65 and East Moriches Community Ambulance were called onto the scene. In addition, Mastic Ambulance was staged at the Center Moriches Fire Department to cover any additional calls that might come in. Brookhaven Town Fire Marshals were also requested to the scene to assist firefighters with additional air monitoring equipment.
Suffolk County Fire Rescue was contacted to have MERV-1 respond to the scene. The Major Emergency Response Vehicle (MERV) was equipped and able to transport multiple patients at one time. Once on scene 12 of the initial 26 were loaded into MERV-1 and transported to a local hospital all in stable condition.
The cause of the irritant is under investigation by the Brookhaven Town fire Marshal’s office.