Authorities in Washington suspect that the mysterious deaths of two household pets were due to a powdered carpet cleaner. The carpet cleaning powder is still under investigation.
A hazardous materials team responded to a home in Lakewood, WA, where a man had found his bird and cat both dead and an odd smell in the home. The man, who rents the home, called 911 and reported the incident.
Though firefighters could not immediately identify the cause of the odor or the deaths of the animals, authorities strongly suspect that they are both the result of the use of a powdered carpet cleaner. The size of the home is also suspected to have contributed to the smell and the deaths of the animals. The home is very small, at only 400 square feet.
Environmental Health Assistant Division Director John Sherman says that homeowners in the area need not worry — this is an isolated incident and only this particular home has been affected.
“Everything we’ve seen so far suggests the problem is limited to this residence. And while initial reports were that a carpet-cleaning chemical or an insecticide were to blame, we’ve not been able to confirm that based on available information,” said Environmental Health Assistant Division Director John Sherman, in an interview with KIRO 7.
Powdered carpet cleaner is meant to be sprinkled on a carpet and then vacuumed up. The process is intended to neutralize odors and clean spots. Experts recommend that carpets get professional cleaning once every year to year and a half, but homeowners often turn to other methods of cleaning in the meantime.
According to the Columbian, the exact brand of the carpet cleaner is not known and the man will not be cleared to return to his home until authorities have deemed it to be safe.