Police report explosion in Midtown Palo Alto

Police and fire personnel respond to blast near Middlefield Road

Palo Alto police and firefighters responded to a small explosion in a Palo Alto apartment complex Tuesday night. The building was evacuated and traffic was halted in the surrounding area due to toxic gas, police said.

A resident of the building 2727 Midtown Court reported the explosion and subsequent noxious odor in a 911 call at 7:20 p.m. (see press release).

The Palo Alto Fire Department located the source of the odor in a pool supply area beneath a stairwell. Firefighters found a five-gallon bucket containing a chlorine-based substance that was violently "off gassing," police said.

The substance was removed from the building and firefighters were able to stop the hazardous fumes. Residents were allowed to return to their apartments at around 9:30 p.m.

Seven residents and one Palo Alto firefighter were evaluated for exposure to the substance and were treated on the scene. The Red Cross assisted one family that was unable to return to their residence.

Firefighters stored the substance for further evaluation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Investigators do not yet know if the explosion was accidental or intentional.

— Bay City News Service

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Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Hmmmm...the Burgess pool & now this - sounds like a conspiracy...

Seriously, I hope everyone is okay. Scary stuff.

Like this comment
Posted by Tom Q
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Web Link
This link seems to have a little more information. Pretty scary...I was amazed to watch the firefighters run into the chlorine gas to evacuate the residents. It was a rather large cloud that looked more like a structure fire than gas cloud.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Sep 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Acc. to the 11:00 p.m. news on Channels 4,5, and 7 (and some TV vans/news teams were there) it was a chlorine leak at an apartment complex on Colorado across from Safeway and behind the buildings housing Subway, CVS, etc. Still there after 9:00 p.m. when I made a quick trip to Safeway.

Like this comment
Posted by Neil
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 14, 2011 at 2:16 am

The Yelp reviews for this property describe a persnickety landlady who is sensitive to even the slightest noise. Hehehe.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

What we need to know is whether this was due to illegal activity or careless handling of pool maintenance paraphanalia.

Like this comment
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

Chlorine gas is an awful thing to deal with - it can burn the back of your throat and lungs...causing pneumonia and other complications.

Like this comment
Posted by Phil Blue Water Pools
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 14, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Someone must have put another chemical in with the chlorine tabs. If you mix Pool Acid with those tabs It could explode

Like this comment
Posted by umm
a resident of College Terrace
on Sep 15, 2011 at 2:46 am

arnt these considered terorist acts? instead of juvinile activity!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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