Evacuation orders lifted after hazmat scare in University City - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Evacuation orders lifted after hazmat scare in University City apartment building

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(UNIVERSITY CITY) Seven units on the top floor of a University City apartment building were evacuated, while other residents on that floor were ordered to shelter in place, after a chemical irritant released into the air sent five people to the hospital.

San Diego Fire Rescue and hazmat crews were called to the La Jolla Crossroads on  the 9000 block of Judicial Drive shortly after 7pm Wednesday. Several residents on the building's fifth floor complained of symptoms of a burning, irritated throat and nose, as if they had been exposed to a chemical similar to pepper spray.

In all, five residents were transported to the hospital to be treated for those symptoms, which abated over time. Fire officials confirm that some sort of chemical irritant, perhaps pepper spray, had been released on the floors, and diffused through the air. Two firefighters were also examined at the scene, but did not need to be hospitalized.

The chemical itself dissipated on its own over a short period of time, according to fire officials, who lifted the evacuation orders after about an hour.

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