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Concern over a strange odor in the air at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Baltimore on Thursday led to a full evacuation of the school and an investigation by the fire department. Students had reported having trouble breathing because of the smell, and some had begun to cough, according to an article in The Washington Post. Five members of the school community were taken to area hospitals as a precaution.
After a thorough investigation by the fire department's hazmat team, which found no hazardous materials at the school, the source of the poor indoor air quality was determined to be a pumpkin spice plug-in air freshener, according to the article.
Baltimore Fire Chief Roman Clark however was quoted as saying it is always better to be safe than sorry. “Let us, who are the experts, come in and make sure that everything is safe.”
This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor, Building Operating Management. Facility managers deal with any number of bizarre complaints. Find more real-world stories of good smells gone bad, as told by the FMs themselves at http://myfacilitiesnet.com/complaints/f/7476/t/11699 . And remember, always pumpkin spice responsibly.