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Harlem water treatment plant worker back on job

Brett Arensmeyer, a Harlem man who was injured after walking into a cloud of hot chlorine gas last week, is back at work and will be going to Billings to get treatment for lung damage.

Arensmeyer is back at work “on a limited basis,” according to Harlem Mayor Bill Taylor and Public Works director Richard Mohar.

“We had to keep him away from the water plant for a week,” Taylor added.

Arensmeyer lives in Harlem with his wife and three kids, where he works in the city's water treatment plant.

Last week, a malfunction with a heater switch caused the treatment plant's chlorine room to get really hot and melt chlorine bottles, dumping it in the room. Arensmeyer — who had no idea what happened — unsuspectingly walked in the room and was instantly injured.

When asked whether Arensmeyer had incurred any damage to his face, Taylor said it didn't appear he did. So far, most of the damage seems to have been to his lungs. He will be seeing a specialist in Billings.

Arensmeyer, who was at work and too busy to talk, confirmed Taylor and Mohar's morale assessment. “He's good. He's not mad,” Taylor said of Arensmeyer.

Arensmeyer said he was getting there.

“I'm still alive,” he said, chuckling and looking at the bright side.

Havre Daily News will be talking to Arensmeyer for a closer look into the incident.


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