Thursday, May 24 , 2018, 1:50 am | Overcast 59º


Local News

Medical Facility Evacuated Due to Possible Hazardous Incident

A medical facility on East Main Street was evacuated Friday afternoon after five people complained of stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea — “all the same time, unrelated,” according to Battalion Chief Mike Barneich of the Santa Maria Fire Department.

Firefighters evacuated the two-story building in the 1400 block of East Main Street, which houses several medical offices including the Shepard Eye Center, Community Health Centers-Arbor Medical Group and Lab Corp. 

One person was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center while the others were checked at the scene by American Medical Response crews. 

Santa Maria firefighters consulted with the Santa Barbara County Hazardous Materials Unit officials regarding the incident, but stopped short of declaring it a hazmat incident.

“We didn’t have a visible smell, we didn’t have a visible cloud, we didn’t have anything we could point to to call it hazmat,” Barneich said. 

What caused the sudden unrelated illness isn’t known, but Barneich noted that the facility has cleaning solution for sterilizing medical equipment.

With the building emptied, Barneich said, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will run and the building owner will bring in their experts to evaluate the systems before employees and patients return. 

“We shut down the building for the weekend and they’re going to work with their contractors to make sure the building is safe before they open up again on  Monday,” Barneich said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >