Several businesses have been evacuated, and four people evaluated, after carbon monoxide was detected Monday afternoon at Columbia Square, the strip mall anchored by Chuck’s Produce in east Vancouver. Chuck’s was not among the businesses evacuated.
Emergency crews were dispatched at 4:25 p.m. to 13215 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd. Readings revealed that carbon monoxide levels were above normal, Vancouver firefighter-spokeswoman Eva Scherer said. The four people evaluated declined transport to a hospital.
The call originated at a Supercuts barbershop, Scherer said.
Eight businesses were evacuated after an “oily” or exhaust-like smell was reported, said Bob Sisson, owner of Kazoodles toy store at the east end of the shopping mall. Sisson said it appeared the issue originated from a vacant storefront near Supercuts. Workers left the space about 3:30 p.m.
A hazardous materials team is searching the shopping mall for a source of the exposure, Scherer said.
Three fire trucks and an ambulance were also on scene, Sisson said.
Christina Carpio, an employee at Seize the Bagel at the shopping mall, started smelling exhaust around 3 p.m., she said. Workers were cutting concrete in an empty suite next door, and the smell could have come through the bagel shop’s ventilation system on the roof, Carpio said.
A NW Natural utility truck arrived around 4 p.m. to evaluate the area, and firefighters arrived after that, Carpio said. Shortly after 5 p.m., the bagel shop was evacuated.
This story will be updated.