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Orange County Digest

Newport Beach : Roofing Tar Gas Cloud Empties Court Building

September 24, 1986|David Reyes \f7

About 40 people were evacuated Tuesday from Harbor Municipal Court after the odor of hot tar was carried through the building's air-conditioning system, causing dizziness and nausea among employees, fire officials said.

Battalion Chief August Wagner said a roofing crew was "hot-mopping" a roof under construction. The noxious cloud that was created entered the air-conditioning system and caused numbness and eye irritation among many inside the building at 4601 Jamboree Blvd.

Oxygen was administered to about 20 people, Wagner said. Most recovered after they were exposed to fresh air. Some employees, including pregnant women and older workers, later were allowed to go home. None required hospitalization.

In the meantime, fire officials ordered Coast Roofing Co. to stop its operation and the air-conditioning system was shut off, Wagner said.

Fire officials will monitor the company's roofing procedure today. If the problem recurs, Wagner said the roofers will be ordered to halt until a preventive plan is submitted.

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