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Odor causes evacuation

August 23, 2006

A downtown building was evacuated and traffic interrupted Tuesday afternoon when the Hagerstown Fire Department responded to a call for an odor of gas at 11 Public Square.

According to Kyd Dieterich, battalion chief, the odor smelled more like sewage.

"Apparently, some trash in the waste can left a horrifying smell," Dieterich said.

Dieterich said the waste can had been emptied, but a stench remained.

The offending waste can was in the offices of the Civil War Preservation Trust, on the second floor above the Rhubarb House, Dieterich said.

Fans were set up to try to rid the building of the smell, he said.

About 12 fire and rescue personnel from the Hagerstown Fire Department and Community Rescue Service responded to the call, Dieterich said. Fire police directed traffic while the odor was being investigated.

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