Park Tower and streets reopened after hazmat situation - WFLA News Channel 8

Park Tower and streets reopened after hazmat situation

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Tampa Fire Rescue report that it has reopened Park Tower at 2:35pm after a noxious fumes forced an evacuation.  TFR tested air samples on all 35 floors and has deemed it safe for people to return to work.  All roadways are also reopened.

Earlier TFR reported that a contractor was removing a chiller from an air conditioner located between the 4rd and 6th floors of the Park Tower building.  Authorities say when the contractor cut into a pipe using a torch, noxious fumes were released. 

Fumes initially caused 6 people to have a reaction.  However, authorities say 4 people were treated on the scene and refused further treatment.  The two remaining people were transferred to the hospital.  Authorities say one person had chest pains and other had difficulty breathing.  TFR is conducting a floor-by-floor air quality assessment of the 35 floor building.  If TFR determines the air quality is safe, it will allow people to return to work.  Many of the evacuated first believed the event was a fire drill. 

"I didn't bring my purse or cell phone," said Jenny Doan, who works inside. "I thought it would be a few minutes and we'd go back, but here we are."

Nearly 800 people work inside the Park Tower building. Many of them stood in the park across the street and watched the action unfold.

"Everyone was calm. There was no panic because nobody knew exactly what was going on," said Dave Bove. "Now that we know it's maybe gas, it's dangerous."

TFR says the air quality check will take some time to conduct.

"Fire fighters are checking every floor, every work space to ensure everyone has been evacuated from the building," said Tampa fire chief, Tom Forward.

Earlier TFR confirmed a Hazmat situation at the Park Tower building located at 400 N Tampa Street.  Authorities said several people reported smelling a foul odor that led them to feel sick. 

"A number of employees began to complain of different sensations, whether it was difficulty breathing or chest pain issues," said Chief Forward.

Authorities evacuated the building. Tampa police initially assisted fire personnel by setting up a perimeter and clearing the streets surrounding the building.  A triage was set up at the scene to treat those affected.   

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    TPD homicide detective under federal criminal investigation

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:55 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:55:30 GMT
    Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.Tampa Police Officer Eric Houston, who is working at a crime scene in this file photo, is under federal investigation.
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
    The feds are investigating one of Tampa Police Department's lead homicide detectives. Officer Eric Houston, who is one of the lead detectives in the Julie Schenecker murder investigation, is under federal criminal investigation. 
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Arcadia burned dog 'Hope' is 90% healed from burns

    Arcadia burned dog 'Hope' is 90% healed from burns

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:27 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:27:12 GMT
    Hope's burns are 90% healed. Hardee County Animal Rescue Facebook page photoHope's burns are 90% healed. Hardee County Animal Rescue Facebook page photo
    We have some good news to report about Hope, the little 1-year-old dog that won over the hearts of many after she was doused with kerosene and lit on fire.
    We have some good news to report about Hope, the little 1-year-old dog that won over the hearts of many after she was doused with kerosene and lit on fire.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.