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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Northridge

Police Station Evacuated After Fumes Are Detected

October 15, 1998

Los Angeles police officers, sworn to protect and serve, were the ones who needed protection Wednesday when fumes from a diesel-powered electricity generator drove them from the Devonshire station.

About 200 officers and civilians--and six prisoners--had to be evacuated. Six detectives became short of breath and complained of burning sinuses about two hours after a routine test of the backup power generator.

"The exhaust probably got sucked into the air-handling system in that part of the building," said Los Angeles Fire Captain Larry Hartman.

Paramedics treated the six officers outside the station. None needed to be hospitalized, Hartman said.

As the Fire Department's hazardous materials team looked for the source of the fumes, police evacuated the building.

Handcuffed and bound by chains, the six prisoners filed out of the jail to the back parking lot, where they were loaded into a van and guarded by five officers.

"We told them we were going on a field trip to the beach," joked LAPD's Sgt. Dan Mastro.

Mastro said policing in the Devonshire division continued without interruption, because 911 calls were being handled at LAPD's communications headquarters and patrol cars were still in the field.

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