Chemical Use Causes Evacuation of 911 Center

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Chemical Sealant Fumes Cause Evacuation of Public Safety Center

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2011

News Highlights:


  • 911 Call Center evacuated and running from back-up dispatch center.
  • Non-emergency and phone numbers for police and fire are unaffected.
  • Adjacent Adult Detention Center unaffected by odor.
  • Back up 911 Call Center will remain in operation until at least 6:00 am May 2, 2011.
  • Fire Department Units cleared the scene at 2:10 pm.

At 9:02 am Alexandria Fire Department units were called to 2003 Mill Road, the Alexandria Public Safety Center, to investigate an odor in the building.  Alexandria Firefighters and Medics responding as the Hazardous Materials Team responded and discovered a contractor on scene who was in the process of sealing a locker room floor on the first floor with a chemical.  The chemical product, Scofield Formula 1, was being applied with acetone to seal the locker room floor when the odor began causing headaches to Department of Emergency Communications (DEC) 911 Call Center personnel on the second floor.  The 911 Call Center was ordered to be evacuated by Fire Department and relocated to the City’s back up 911 Call Center.  911 and non-emergency services have not been disrupted.   Radio communications with police and fire units are also unaffected by the incident.  Seven City employees at the facility were evaluated by paramedic.  No employees required medical assistance, and Fire Department units cleared the scene at 2:10 pm.

The City’s backup 911 Call Center will remain in service until at least 6 am tomorrow morning (May 2).  Contractors at the Mill Road facility continue to provide ventilation to the building at this time.  The adjacent Adult Detention Center has been unaffected and remains operational.

For more information, contact Robert Rodriguez, Chief Fire Marshal / Community Services Officer, Alexandria Fire Department, at 703.746.5217 or