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WOBURN — A state hazmat team has responded to a Red Robin restaurant off Washington Street after chemical fumes sent three employees to the hospital Tuesday, according to one official.

Members of the team put on protective suits and oxygen tanks in the restaurant’s parking lot as around 8 p.m. as they prepared to enter the building.

A portion of the restaurant’s parking lot was cordoned off with yellow police tape. The front door to the building was propped open and someone had placed a fan near the entrance.

Fire chief Stephen Adgate told reporters at the scene that firefighters responded to the restaurant at about 4:30 p.m.

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When firefighters arrived, “we quickly realized it wasn’t necessarily an explosion, it was a reaction,” according to the chief.

The cause is under investigation, but a preliminary probe points to some sort of reaction occurring while workers tried to clean the kitchen floor, he said.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a chemical exposure at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Burlington killed that restaurant’s general manager and sickened 10 other employees and patrons.

“The fact that it happened in Burlington a week or two ago, does heighten the awareness,” he said. “It does make us a little bit more concerned.”

When asked if a mixture of chemicals that produced the fumes, Adgate responded, that has yet to be determined.

Three workers were sent to the hospital as a precautionary measure, he said. The building was evacuated.

It was not immediately clear how many people were in the restaurant at the time of the incident.

This breaking news story will be updated as more information becomes available.


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @danny_mcdonald.