Smell forces evacuation of Windsor government offices

Sonoma County Hazardous Materials Response Unit and Windsor Fire investigate an odor that resulted in the evacuation of the Windsor Town Hall on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. A sweep of the building ruled out the presence of known toxic gases. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Sonoma County Hazardous Materials Response Unit and Windsor Fire investigate an odor that resulted in the evacuation of the Windsor Town Hall on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. A sweep of the building ruled out the presence of known toxic gases.
(Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Source: Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat

Windsor town officials were back at work Wednesday, a day after what may have been a bad perfume forced them out of their building and sent one worker to a hospital.

Firefighters and the county’s hazardous materials response team were called in and the Town Hall was evacuated after some employees noticed a “stale fragrance” odor and started to feel sick around lunchtime Tuesday, Central Fire’s Acting Battalion Chief Michael Elson said.

One woman was taken by ambulance to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, he said. Another four employees reported feeling sick but weren’t taken to the hospital, Elson said.

About a dozen employees ultimately were sent home later that afternoon to let the building air out, Town Manager Linda Kelly said. There were no customers in the building when the foul odor was reported, she said.

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The bad smell came from near the community development and human services departments, said Kelly, who didn’t get a whiff of it. She’s located on the other side of the building, she said.

Staff were able to return to work Wednesday morning. The employee who had been taken to the hospital also was back at work, Kelly said.

The source of the smell remains a mystery, though.

The hazmat team conducted air-quality tests but were unable to find where the smell was coming from, Kelly said.

“We just don’t know at this point. It’s undetermined,” she said.

Elson said the town facility services workers opened windows and ran the air-conditioning unit to ventilate the building. No foul odors have been reported since, he said.

 

 

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