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200 at Swim Meet Evacuated Over Steam

May 09, 1999|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

More than 200 children and adults attending a swimming competition in Simi Valley were evacuated Saturday when steam started billowing from a pump room next to the pool, authorities said.

The USA Swimming Invitational, a meet for various swim clubs in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, had started about 9 a.m. at the Rancho Simi Community Park Pool and was nearly done when the incident occurred shortly before 1 p.m.

The evacuation lasted about 45 minutes and forced the cancellation of all remaining races, said Paul Davidson, head coach of Conejo Simi Aquatics.

The problem occurred when a heater hose snapped inside the pump room, Ventura County Fire Capt. Steve Francis said. Hot water poured from the hose onto a hot motor and caused steam to filter from vents on the roof.

Ten Simi Valley police officers helped evacuate people to a grassy area about 50 feet north of the pool.

"We were planning for a worst-case scenario, but it turned out to be not much of anything," said Simi Police Sgt. Randy Foushee.

Three county fire engines and a hazardous materials crew also responded.

"It was all a precaution until we found out what was going on," Francis said.

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