JAMES CITY CO., Va. - James City County emergency personnel responded to a hazmat situation in the 4600 block of Noland Boulevard in Lightfoot Thursday afternoon.
A call reporting an unknown substance that had apparently leaked from a container came in at 2:35 p.m.
Authorities say the substance spilled inside a U.S. Postal Service vehicle. The postal service employee received medical evaluation and required only minimal care.
There is no indication of any immediate concern at this time, according to emergency personnel.
A firefighter was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital for heat-related problems. He is said to be in stable condition.
The James City County Fire and Police Departments, along with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the York County Department of Fire and Life Safety also responded to the scene. The Department of Fire and Life Safety assisted in identifying the substance.
The Liberty Crossings neighborhood was blocked off for hours before residents were allowed back into their homes.
In a statement, a spokeswoman with the U.S. Postal Service said the spilled substance was identified as mercury and that the mail that was inside the vehicle will not be delivered until it has been deemed safe to do so:
The Postal Service’s first priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of its customers and employees. Along with James City County emergency authorities, we are handling a mercury spill found inside a postal vehicle. In an abundance of caution, the mail inside the vehicle will not be delivered until professional environmental contractors can evaluate, clean and certify the safety of the mail. We will share additional information with the public as it becomes available.
Before police left, they collected all the mail that the truck had delivered from the mailbox and neighbors.