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Firefighters battling blaze exposed to human feces, possibly hep A

Firefighters slipped in a stream that homeless people use as a bathroom, according to officials


By FireRescue1 Staff

SAN DIEGO — Firefighters were exposed to human feces and possibly hepatitis A while battling a blaze, according to officials.

NBC San Diego reported that 11 firefighters were fighting a brush fire at a homeless camp when they slipped in a stream.

"The homeless population uses this stream for what most of us use toilets or sinks or showers and bathtubs," San Miguel Fire Battalion Chief Andy Lawler said. "We're not talking about a small amount of contaminants there; we're talking about a lot. We had feces on the personal protective equipment."

Hazmat crews responded to the incident, but there is still more feces to be cleaned.

The county has discussed installing portable bathrooms for the people who live there, but the plan has not become realized yet.

"This is one of the homeless encampments that we have been trying to deal with over the years," local homeowners association president Malcom Gettman said.

The firefighters used soap and water to clean themselves on scene. One firefighter was taken to the hospital and treated for a minor injury after slipping in the stream.

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