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The Region

September 29, 1986

A nursery fire spewed toxic fumes over an area of several blocks in the Goleta Valley, west of Santa Barbara. About 450 people were evacuated from their homes when flames erupted from a greenhouse at the Por La Mar Nursery. Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Charles Johnson said the fire spread from the greenhouse to a warehouse and small office, and then to pesticides--which made the smoke toxic. Hazardous materials teams, California Highway Patrol officers, sheriff's deputies and city and county firefighters battled the blaze, finally controlling it after several hours. Evacuees were allowed to return home when environmental health officials determined the air in the area was safe. Cause of the fire was under investigation.

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