A Sanford family is recovering after an explosive reaction with pool chlorine sent three generations to the hospital.

Eugene Lebel was getting ready to open his swimming pool at noon today and poured chlorine granules from one container into a utility bucket, said Sanford Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Rowe.

The granules apparently reacted with something in the other container, setting off a series of small explosions, Rowe said.

“Witnesses in the area said it sounded like firecrackers,” Rowe said. The eruption coated the older man with powdery granules.

His grandson, Matthew Lebel, heard him yell for help and pulled his grandfather out of the garage, resulting in him becoming contaminated as well, Rowe said.

Firefighters arrived and did some basic decontamination before taking the men to the hospital. Matthew Lebel was having trouble breathing which is common with exposure to chlorine, Rowe said.

Eugene Lebel’s son was also there, and refused treatment at the scene but was seen by doctors at the hospital.

All three men were treated and released.

The Department of Environmental Protection, the York County Emergency Management Agency and members of the regional hazardous materials team worked to decontaminate the garage.


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