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Riverside County sheriff’s building evacuated for possible hazmat situation

By in Press Enterprise on August 28, 2017

By Beatriz E. Valenzuela

The Riverside County sheriff’s administration building in downtown Riverside was evacuated Monday morning and five people have been taken to the hospital as a precaution amid a hazmat investigation, officials said.

“At this time there is no threat to the surrounding area,” fire officials said in a Facebook message at 10:21 a.m.

Someone found a suspicious package with an unknown substance on the fourth floor of the building at 4095 Lemon St., and reported it to authorities at 8:39 a.m., Riverside Fire Department Battalion Chief Bruce Vanderhorst said.

The building was evacuated, Lemon Street has been closed between 10th and 12th streets and first responders including police, firefighters, “overhead personnel” and ambulances were sent to the scene.

Firefighters set up what appeared to be a decontamination area behind some police tape, with long hoses and a kiddie pool.

Five people were decontaminated and then taken to the hospital to be checked out, but none had any adverse symptoms, officials said.

Details about why such precautions were being taken have not been released.

The hazmat team was going to go inside the building to sample the substance, fire officials said.

The Riverside County Administrative Center across the street from the sheriff’s building remains open and operational. A command post was being set up nearby.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.


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