Pepper spray causes medical building evacuation
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Several people were hospitalized after pepper spray left them feeling sick.
Coral Springs Fire Rescue responded to the scene at a medical office plaza in the area of 9750 NW 33 St. in Coral Springs, Wednesday, after several people fell ill from reported strong fumes.
At around 5:30 p.m., people started to have trouble breathing and their eyes felt itchy. That is when authorities evacuated the building. "All of a sudden, we just heard an alarm, and then the doctor told us we had to evacuate," said Kelli Clinton. "When we came out, there were some ladies that were passed out outside, and I was feeling a little sick myself."
Hazmat and fire crews went inside the building to investigate where the possible contamination was coming from. "Obviously, we're thinking the worst at this point," said Coral Springs Fire Rescue Captain Mike Moser.
They quickly determined that pepper spray was the cause.
Investigators said a woman accidentally dispensed some pepper spray that she was carrying and it circulated through the building's air conditioning system.
"I'm cold and I'm all wet," said Kelli Jay, wrapped in a blanket.
Jay is one of 10 people who were transported to an area hospital as a precaution. She works as a nurse in the building and Hazmat crews had to spray her down after she came in contact with the pepper spray. She said the spray made her face feel as though it were on fire. "You get a glimpse of what it's like to be a patient," said Jay. "You know, it's scary. It can be scary."
Police said since the incident was an accident, they will not charge the woman who had the pepper spray.
All 10 people are expected to be OK. The medical office plaza reopens Thursday.
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