Police call apartment incident 'suicide by Hazmat'


COBB COUNTY, Ga. - Firefighters sealed off part of a Cobb County apartment complex on Thursday when workers found a body and a mix of hazardous chemicals.

Channel 2's Ross Cavitt said hazmat crews surrounded the Jefferson Lakeside Apartments off Roswell Road about 4 p.m. and more continued to arrive throughout the afternoon.

Building maintenance workers told investigators they entered a unit in building 13 and found the man dead, along with a combination of chemicals.

“Maintenance from the apartment complex found a deceased person inside an apartment in Building 13,” Cobb County Fire Lt. Dan Dupree said. “We responded along with the Cobb Police Department. When we entered the apartment, we discovered a potential hazardous materials situation.”

Next to the body was a strange chemical cocktail. Dupree described the scene as a “suicide by hazmat,” in which the victim apparently mixed various chemicals together to create a toxic gas that killed him.

Some workers complained that their skin was burning and were quarantined by emergency officials. Firefighters told Cavitt they could not immediately determine what the chemicals were.

Residents were not sure when they would be allowed to return to their homes.

"I knew it was some kind of crime scene. They don't set up all that for just a chemical," Robert Santiago said.

The chemicals turned out to be “household-type products mixed together,” the fire department spokesman said Thursday night.

In the meantime, the workers and initial responders who also were exposed to the chemical were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

As of 9 p.m. everyone was expected to be released from the hospital.