Fort Polk soldier accused of burning unknown substance in Kisatc - FOX29 Lake Charles

Fort Polk soldier accused of burning unknown substance in Kisatchie Forest

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(Source: Maranda Whittington / KPLC) (Source: Maranda Whittington / KPLC)

A Fort Polk active-duty soldier is under control of his military unit after he allegedly burned an unknown substance in military training area Wednesday in the Kisatchie National Forest, authorities with the Vernon Parish Sheriff's Office and Fort Polk said.

The soldier, who has not been identified, fled the scene, according to a joint news release.

The soldier is alleged to have burned the substance around noon. Other soldiers in the area reported the fire and the soldier was later detained.

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HAZMAT procedures were enacted around the soldier's vehicle and the library and education center on Fort Polk when a commercially available substance most commonly used as a disinfectant for swimming pools was found in his vehicle. Some responders underwent decontamination as a precaution, were evaluated and released.

The soldier's apartment complex, Mona Lisa Apartments, was evacuated as a precaution until officers concluded their search.

"The health and welfare of the people living and working on Fort Polk is of the utmost importance, said Col. David Athey, Fort Polk's garrison commander. "We'd rather approach an incident such as this with an abundance of caution. I do want to commend our Soldiers who are always vigilant and our first responders who keep us out of harm's way."

The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is the lead agency in the investigation.

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