WBZ: The employee who died after a chemical incident at a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in Burlington has been identified as 32-year-old Ryan Baldera of Lawrence. Baldera, the general manager, jumped in to help when another employee using a common cleaning agent known as Super 8 on the kitchen floor suddenly became nauseous. Fire officials say the other worker accidentally mixed a second chemical called Scale Kleen that caused a reaction. Super 8 contains sodium hypochlorite and Scale Kleen is about 50% acid. They had a chemical reaction and started bubbling.
“It was the two products that were on the floor that came in contact that caused the chemical reaction that made everybody sick,” Burlington Fire Chief Michael Patterson said.
Baldera died after being rushed to the hospital. Thirteen additional people, including employees and patrons, were also hospitalized. Baldera was married last year and was the father to a newborn baby.
“Ryan was a beloved husband, father, son, brother, and cherished uncle, nephew, and son-in-law, to his close knit family and friends,” his family said in a statement. “While devastated at this unimaginable loss, we are so very proud that Ryan died while trying to protect his fellow employees and restaurant patrons.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support the Baldera family. The Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce has also set up a memorial fund:
“Ryan Baldera Memorial Fund”
Cambridge Savings Bank
214 Cambridge St.
Burlington, MA 01803
This is obviously very sad to see. A young father who went to work that day like any other normal day, not knowing that a freak accident would make it his last day. He never got to say goodbye to his loved ones, and he seemed like a great guy. Such a huge loss.
But as sad as it is, it’s important that we blog about people like this because they’re a reminder of the good that goes on in the world every day that we don’t highlight nearly enough on this blog. Ryan Baldera knew he had a breathing problem, he knew he had a wife and child at home, but the second he saw something dangerous brewing at Buffalo Wild Wings he put his life on the line to save the lives of others.
Let’s be clear – this man died a hero. His son, sadly, will never remember him. His family will no doubt tell him about what a good guy his old man was, and I’m sure it’s going to be hard on the kid growing up without him there. But one day that kid is gonna be old enough to Google, so it’s important that one of the first keywords that pops up is “hero.” Because that’s what his father was. A hero.
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