Police, fire and ambulance personnel responded to the Kroger grocery store in Blanchester Saturday after receiving a report that a chemical spray had been released within the building, according to Police Chief Scot Reinbolt. There were approximately 100 shoppers in the store at the time.
The fire department ordered the store evacuated after it was learned that oleoresin capsicum spray had been discharged by a young child in the store, Reinbolt said. Oleoresin capsicum, commonly known as “OC spray”, is marketed as a personal defense spray which attacks the eyes and respiratory system with an irritant which has as its base hot peppers.
Officers spoke with store employees while the Blanchester-Marion Twp. and Jefferson Township Fire Departments ventilated the building. Blanchester Emergency Medical Service transported one store employee to the hospital.
Officers learned that an unidentified woman was in the store with a toddler, the woman had OC spray in her purse, and the toddler got hold of the OC spray and discharged it, Reinbolt said. He added that the woman left the store prior to emergency responders arriving there and remains unidentified.