Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Its bite is worse than its bark

Bear repellent disrupts shopping at Hailey thrift store

Express Staff Writer

Afternoon shopping at the Barkin' Basement Thrift Store in Hailey was disrupted Monday after a can of bear repellent leaked toxic fumes into the store.

Store Manager Andrea Parker said an employee inadvertently punctured a small hole into the canister shortly after 1 p.m. while sorting through donations behind the Main Street store. She said toxic fumes emanated from the canister into the air and eventually drifted into the back of the store. Before long, the employee and a customer started coughing and complaining of irritation to their airways.

Parker said she cleared the building and called the Fire Department. Firefighters treated the victims as the store was aired out. She said the store was closed for about an hour.

"The employee got it right up the nose," said Jeff Gunter, Hailey police chief.

Gunter said police determined that the canister was not left at the store to intentionally injure anybody and no crime was committed.

Parker said the store appreciates donations but does not want to be given hazardous materials. "Everyone's fine," she said. "We're all back at work."

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