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VENTURA : Fumes in Drugstore Force Evacuation

Four people were treated and 12 others were temporarily overcome when hazardous fumes filled the Ventura Sav-On Drugs store Tuesday morning, officials said.

The fumes, which spread when an employee poured incompatible chemicals into a bathroom sink at the same time, spread throughout the store on Telegraph Road, forcing employees and customers to evacuate, fire officials said.

Hazardous-materials experts from the Ventura Fire Department wore protective suits into the store and diluted the chemical combination of sodium hypochlorite and hydrochloric acid, officials said. Firefighters then set up fans to dissipate the fumes.

The employee who poured the chemicals into the sink was treated for chemical exposure at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital and released. The condition of the three other victims is not known, fire officials said, and Sav-On officials refused to comment on the incident.

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The store reopened after three hours, when fire officials determined the fumes were sufficiently dispersed, officials said.


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