City Hall was briefly evacuated this morning after an odor led some employees to feel nauseous.
Batallion Chief Tom Curcio of the New London Fire Department said the department received a report that some people had fallen ill and that there was a strange smell in the building. As a precaution, the building was evacuated and the incident was treated as a Hazmat situation. The fire department tested for explosive gas while Yankee Gas and the New London Sub Base Hazmat team also responded to test for other dangerous gases.
"Everything we've monitored so far we've come up negative," said Curcio.
Four employees from the first and second floors reported nausea but declined treatment by paramedics.
Curcio said Department of Public Works officials told him the smell is likely a result of a sewer issue. The building was evacuated at approximately 11:15 a.m. and employees were allowed to return after about half an hour. The fire department used fans to ventilate the building and planned to bring in a fan for continued use if necessary. The Ledge Light Health District was also contacted to determine if the odor would be a health issue.
Assistant City Clerk Dawn Currier said the odor has been present in City Hall since at least Tuesday. She said she was slightly nauseous at the end of the day on Wednesday but was unsure whether it was caused by the odor or something else.
"We've been noticing it for a couple of days, but we thought it was just a bad odor and it would go away," she said.
The City Hall building dates back to 1856 and was remodeled in 1912. The three-story structure includes the probate court, City Council chambers, and several municipal offices.