San Pablo police issued a mandatory evacuation order late Wednesday afternoon in response to an earlier “hazardous materials incident.”
Authorities issued the alert calling for “an immediate evacuation has been ordered for the area between Giant Road, Miner Ave, 11th Street, and Palmer Ave in San Pablo.”
The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s Twitter account posted that residents were directed to shelter at Contra Costa Community College gym. Residents evacuating can expect to shelter in place at the evacuation center for up to 24 hours, fire officials said.
San Pablo police had earlier issued a shelter-in-place alert for an area near Stanton Avenue and Giant Road.
KPIX has learned the resident at the house where the incident is happening is a retired chemistry professor who had stored chemical supplies in a shed for a long time and the chemicals had likely become unstable. He is cooperating with authorities.
Authorites have brought in special equipment to examine the containers found in the shed.
“Initially [the call] came in as a gas leak. Once initial fire crews arrived on scene, they found a lot of containers in various conditions in the back shed of a residence,” said Chris Toler with the Contra Costa Fire Protection District. “Once they identified a couple of those, they did some research with the homeowner and found out they were indeed hazardous materials and initiated a hazardous materials response from our district as well as county hazmat.”
Police issued the alert at about 12:50 p.m. and asked people to shelter in place until told it was safe to go outside.
People are also asked to avoid the area while crews work to clean up the scene.
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