Crime

Carpet-cleaning product blamed for killing cat, bird in Lakewood home

Investigators blame a carpet-cleaning product for the deaths of two pets in Lakewood after a man reported a suspicious odor coming from his home Saturday.

He told firefighters just before 11 a.m. that he returned to his house in the 8600 block of Moreland Avenue Southwest and found his cat and bird dead. He also said he smelled a strange odor, according to a West Pierce Fire & Rescue news release.

After initial tests were unable to pinpoint the cause, Pierce County and Joint Base Lewis-McChord hazardous material teams were brought in along with a support team from Camp Murray and the state Department of Ecology.

West Pierce spokeswoman Hallie McCurdy said they determined a powdered carpet cleaner the homeowner purchased was the cause. The small size of the home might have been a factor, she said.

Until the Pierce County Health Department investigates further, which McCurdy expected to be Monday, she said the owner would not be able to safely return to the home.

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