Kyle McCarty and Benjy Egel
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Update 9:50 p.m.
While sweeping Fremont Hall, firefighters found a canister of mace in a trash can. It may be related to the women’s’ discomfort, and UPD is currently investigating the situation, Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier said in an email.
Update 8:20 p.m.
The fire department has given the all-clear on the air and is working with the university to let students back in.
The San Luis Obispo Fire Department responded to a concern of something in the air in Fremont Hall on Saturday. Two women reported a “pins and needles” feeling in their throats, Fire Chief Garret Olson said.
One of the women had light symptoms that went away, so paramedics didn’t check her, according to paramedic Ryan Vaughn. The other woman’s symptoms went away, but the tingling sensation in her throat came back. She was checked and cleared, but she asked her friends to take her to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.
All residents were evacuated while Fremont Hall was secured. The fire department checked the residence hall with air monitors. Olson said the first check revealed no troublesome readings, and he wasn’t sure what the substance was.
Olson said the fire department will work with university administration and the University Police Department (UPD) to investigate what caused Saturday’s and last week’s incidents. UPD Chief George Hughes is the fire department’s public safety contact at Cal Poly.
The investigation will not be a criminal investigation, Olson said, and they will check to see if there were any maintenance procedures occurring at the time of the incident. A new chemical or new process could be causing the reaction, Olson said.
He also noted that it is cold and flu season, and said people might be more sensitive to symptoms after last week’s incident in Santa Lucia Hall.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
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