Evacuation at MUSC Rutledge Tower blamed on odor from floor chemical

Evacuation at MUSC Rutledge Tower blamed on odor from floor chemical
Source: Live 5
Source: Live 5
Source: Live 5

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A chemical used on floors caused the odor that prompted an evacuation at MUSC Rutledge Tower, authorities say.

Charleston Fire Marshal Mike Julazadeh said an oil-based floor sealant produced an odor in the facility. Someone smelled the odor and pulled a fire alarm, he said.

It's not clear whether an employee or patient pulled the alarm.

The hospital was evacuated shortly after 3:30 p.m. and the building was cleared just before 5 p.m.

"There was an unidentified smell that was permeating the building, we took an abundance of caution and evacuated the entire Rutledge Tower," according to Heather Woolwine with MUSC.

Fire crews believe the smell was picked up by the HVAC system and spread throughout the building.

People inside of the Rutledge Tower were complaining of scratchy throats and itchy eyes from the smell.

The MUSC Rutledge Tower is an outpatient clinic building.

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