Odor investigated at college | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Odor investigated at college

Tahoe Daily Tribune Staff Reports
Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily Tribune Jon Anderson, a city of South Lake Tahoe firefighter/paramedic, left, collects air samples from his peers Monday morning at Lake Tahoe Community College after a strange smell was detected.
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Two LTCC employees became ill

By William Ferchland

Tribune staff writer

Firefighters searched for, but could not find, the source of an odor that made two employees ill in a first-floor women’s bathroom at Lake Tahoe Community College.

An ambulance, fire engine and chief vehicle from the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department arrived at the college Monday morning for reported toxic fumes in the bathroom.

Tests were conducted with pH strips and monitors but nothing was found, said Scott Douglass, battalion chief for the fire department.

“We’re suspecting possibly a cleaning substance but other than that we don’t have a guess,” Douglass said.

The bathroom was aired and drains flushed, said Jon Stephens, vice president of business services.

The employees, Pam Vairo, assistant to President Guy Lease, and Interim Dean of Instruction Tracy Thomas, reported mild irritations like a sore throat.

No classes were interrupted even though officials blocked people from walking past the bathroom, located near the admissions and records office.

The college is in the middle of summer school so few students were in the commons area.

Denise Russell, manager of the college’s bookstore, said she didn’t notice any scent out of the ordinary.

“The biology wing is over there so you always smell something,” she said.

– E-mail William Ferchland at wferchland@tahoedailytribune.com.


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