Call us lazy. Call us juvenile. Ordinarily we would shy away from reprinting verbatim a press release issued by a government agency. Not so with this one, issued on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 3:45 p.m. by the Colorado Springs Police Department:
Yesterday, January 9th, 2007 at about 10:00 PM, officers from the Gold Hill Division went to the CSPD Evidence Facility on Rio Grande Street to place evidence associated with a crime. When they went into the building, they encountered a strong odor, had difficulty breathing, and experienced a burning sensation in their mouths and noses. They evacuated the building and were transported to Memorial Hospital for medical evaluations. All were treated for possible chemical burns and released. The Colorado Springs Fire Department HAZMAT Unit responded to the building to investigate the situation and could not find the source of the odor. The evidence facility was closed pending reevaluation.
CSFD HAZMAT followed up today and examined the building, as well as the officer’s clothing and vehicles. There were no hazardous substances found in the building or on the equipment.
At this point speculation is that the building became filled with a strong odor due to a back up of sewer gases. This is possible as the floor drain in the building is rarely used and was probably dry, which allowed the gases to enter from the sewer system.
The building has been reopened and no dangerous situation exists.