UPDATE: Chemical spill closes Rock Co. courthouse

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JANESVILLE - The Rock County Courthouse has been closed for the day following a HAZMAT situation, and a Rock County Facilities Management employee was taken to a local hospital.

The Janesville Gazette reports around 100 courthouse employees were evacuated.

At about 8:30 a.m., Rock County Sheriff's Office Deputies, Janesville Police, and Janesville Fire Department personnel were dispatched to the Rock County Courthouse at 51 S. Main St., for a report of a chemical incident in the Facilities Management Area of the Courthouse, where a facilities management worker was mixing chemicals to treat water for the courthouse air cooling system, according to a news release from the Rock County Sheriff's Office. The courthouse fire alarm system was activated. Deputies stationed at the courthouse began evacuating people from the immediate area of the chemical incident. The facilities management personnel closed the air handling system in an effort to contain the chemical cloud.

The Janesville Fire Department HAZMAT Team was dispatched to the scene.

At 9:26 a.m., upon recommendation of public safety personnel and with the authorization of County Board Chair Russ Podzilni, the courthouse was closed for the day.

A Rock County Facilities Management employee exposed to the chemical cloud was transported to a local hospital for treatment. A Rock County Sheriff's Office Deputy was treated at the scene and released.

The Town of Beloit Fire Department Rehab Unit, SWEPT, and City of Beloit Police Department Command Post responded to provide support to emergency services personnel.

Units remain on the scene actively involved in the HAZMAT clean-up.

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