Burlington Fire Department Provides Update on Fatal Hazardous Materials Incident


Burlington Fire Department
Interim Chief Michael Patterson
21 Center St.
Burlington, MA 01803

For Immediate Release

Friday, Nov. 8, 2019

Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Phone: 781-428-3299
Email: [email protected]

Burlington Fire Department Provides Update on Fatal Hazardous Materials Incident

BURLINGTON — Interim Fire Chief Michael Patterson wishes to provide an update on last night’s fatal hazardous materials incident.

At 5:36 p.m. Thursday, the Burlington Fire Department responded to Buffalo Wild Wings, 15 South Ave. for a report of a chemical reaction in the kitchen area. Upon arrival, firefighters evacuated the building and provided aid to an employee who had fallen ill after inhaling fumes.

Ryan Baldera, age 32, of Lawrence was transported by ambulance to Lahey Hospital where he passed away as a result of his injuries. He was the restaurant’s general manager.

A preliminary investigation conducted in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that a second employee had applied two substances, Super 8 and Scale Kleen, to the kitchen floor while attempting to clean it. The two substances reacted with one another, creating toxic fumes.

Twelve people checked themselves into Lahey Hospital and a 13th person self-checked into a Lowell-area hospital last night after the incident. The patients included both restaurant employees and patrons. Their symptoms included difficulty breathing and burning feelings in the eyes. All of the patients have since been released from the hospital.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation by the Burlington Fire and Police Departments, with assistance from OSHA.

Following his death, the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce has set up a memorial fund for Baldera’s family. Those who would like to contribute to the fund can send a check payable to the “Ryan Baldera Memorial Fund” to:

Cambridge Savings Bank

214 Cambridge St.

Burlington, MA 01803