USA — Several hundred workers were forced to evacuate their office building in Garden City Monday morning due to a small brush.
Garden City village firefighters and police responded to 1325 Franklin Ave. around 10:30 a.m. after receiving a report of an unidentified odor throughout the building. Since the building’s automatic alarm system was out of service, Garden City F.D. had to request mutual aid. Firefighters from New Hyde Park and Mineola came to assist them in “manually” evacuating the building, going door-to-door on each floor, instructing the employees to move outside, Garden City Fire Chief Charles Cavarra told Patch.
As the occupants cleared the building, firefighters searched for the odor and stood by hose lines in front of the office complex. They determined the smell was actually caused by a small brush fire right outside the building in the vicinity of a fresh air intake. The smell was circulated throughout the building via the ventilation system.
Cavarra said the fire was not suspicious, explaining that it might have been caused by someone dropping a cigarette into the brush. “It wasn’t malicious,” he added.
There were no flames or heavy smoke present, just a “haze” in the area, he said, and there was no damage or injuries reported. The employees were allowed back inside around 11:30 a.m.