UPDATED: Noxious Fumes Inside Edison Building Prompt Evacuation; 6 Transported to Hospital

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The SoCal Edison office building on Elm Ave. Photo by Sarah Bennett

UPDATED 3:13PM | Shortly before 3PM, Long Beach fire crews gave an all-clear of the structure, but the source of the odor was not found, according to Edison.

ORIGINAL 1:39PM | Noxious fumes inside of the Southern California Edison building in the East Village Arts District sent six people to the hospital and prompted a mid-day evacuation of the structure Monday. 

A “strong odor” was reported around 11:50AM by employees who work inside Edison’s call center and regional office located at 125 Elm Ave. According to Long Beach Fire Department officials, several complained of nausea and vomiting, prompting an evacuation of around 300 employees to an adjacent staging area. 

26 persons were evaluated by responding paramedics and six were transported to local hospitals with non-critical symptoms including dizziness, weakness and nausea. The other 20 either denied care or were determined to not need it. 

LBFD’s HazMat team was on site as of 1PM and were suiting up to enter the building, do an air analysis and determine the cause of the fumes.

“HazMat is working with building management on making a game plan to make entry and do a sweep,” said firefighter Will Nash. “We’re still not sure what it is, but it was some sort of noticable fume.”

Broadway is closed to traffic between Long Beach Blvd. and Linden Ave. while Elm Ave. is closed between 1st and 3rd streets until further notice. The fumes are believed to be contained inside the building, and at this time no other businesses in the area have been evacuated.

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Evacuated Edison employees in the staging area across the street from the office buiding.

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HazMat preparing a game plan to make entry into the building.

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Sarah Bennett is a contributor to the Hi-lo and the editor-at-large at the Long Beach Post. She is also a professor at Santa Ana College where she was once a student before transferring to USC to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Sarah has written about music, art, food and beer in local, national and international publications for over a decade. An L.A. native and longtime resident of Long Beach, she is the co-founder of Long Beach Zine Fest and managing editor at theLAnd magazine. She never sleeps.
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