SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Fire Department is under investigation after contaminants were found in firefighters’ air tanks.

The Spokesman-Review reports Washington State Department of Labor and Industries spokeswoman Elaine Fisher says the state agency opened the investigation last month following reports of oil and contaminants in the air bottles, and an air compressor not being serviced in a timely manner. The investigation is ongoing and could take several months.

firefighters noticed a foul smell coming from air canisters during a breathing test in mid-November, prompting fire department leaders to shut down all three of the department’s air compressors.

Those compressors had been used to fill and refill 500 air tanks used by about 330 firefighters throughout 16 fire stations.

The city would have to pay a sizable fine if reports are true.

Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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