Fumes from hair dye sparked Southfield hazmat situation

100 yards around Hawthorn Suites evacuated after chemicals reportedly found

Fire crews said a hazmat situation that prompted the evacuation of everyone 300 feet around a Southfield hotel Wednesday was caused by fumes from a box of hair dye.
Fire crews said a hazmat situation that prompted the evacuation of everyone 300 feet around a Southfield hotel Wednesday was caused by fumes from a box of hair dye.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – Fire crews said a hazmat situation that prompted the evacuation of everyone 300 feet around a Southfield hotel Wednesday was caused by fumes from a box of hair dye.

It happened at the Hawthorn Suites, located near the intersection of Central Park Boulevard and 11 Mile Road.

Original Story: Suspicious chemical smell at Southfield hotel revealed to be hair dye, area reopened

“We went in there and started fainting,” said Heather Oberlin, a guest at the hotel. “I was about to faint, my two friends were getting sick and vomiting and they didn’t know what was going on.”

Oberlin said she and two of her friends were held by Southfield police for several hours while hazardous material crews investigated what chemicals were making people sick.

Oberlin said one of her friends could have died.

“He was vomiting in bed,” Oberlin said. “I said, ‘If you don’t get out, you’re going to die.’”

Authorities determined the fumes came from hair dye. Oberlin said she had a box of hair dye, but it was empty.

Police released the three who were staying in the room. They said Hawthorn kicked them out.

This report initially incorrectly stated that a dead body was found in the hotel room with the spilled chemicals.


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