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North Spokane Walmart evacuated after reports of suspicious substance

January 7, 2019

A Walmart in north Spokane was closed for several hours Sunday after employees discovered what they described as “white powder” on money passed over the counter.

Reports of the substance prompted a response from emergency personnel and an evacuation of the building.

At around 6:45 p.m., the Spokane Fire Department responded to reports of a suspicious substance at the Walmart, located at 9212 Colton Street. Crews proceeded to isolate the area, and performed a hazmat evacuation of the store, evacuating employees and customers.

A number of employees who had handled the reported substance told responders that they felt sick, and three were taken to the hospital for evaluation, according to Battalion Chief Chad Childers.

All three employees were evaluated and subsequently released, Childers said.

A post to the Walmart’s Facebook page acknowledged the incident. “We had to do a hazmat evacuation of the store from about 7:45 to 10 p.m.,” it read. “All affected associates are OK, and have been cleared by medical. The hazmat team did not find anything, but did a full decontamination. Thank you to the entire management team on how it was handled.”

The Walmart has been reopened.

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