BY BRADEN CARTWRIGHT
Daily Post Staff Writer
Update, Jan. 14, 8 a.m. — A man who was exposed to chemicals died yesterday (Jan. 13) on the fifth floor of the Opportunity Center, prompting a large hazmat response to the Palo Alto apartment complex for the homeless and poor, police said.
Investigators were unable to determine if the death was the result of a suicide, an accident or a medical emergency. There was no evidence of a crime, police Capt. James Reifschneider said. He wouldn’t say what chemicals were found.
Firefighters responded to a report of a fog and an odor coming from one of the apartments at 33 Encina Ave at 12:30 p.m. Ten trucks from Mountain View and Palo Alto came to the scene.
After two hours of planning, a pair of firefighters entered the room in hazmat suits.
Their gas monitors detected no hazards in the air, fire Battalion Chief Shane Yarbrough said. They opened the windows, decontaminated their suits and handed the investigation off to police, Yarbrough said.
The shower was left on in the apartment, Yarbrough said.
The Opportunity Center is five-story, 88-unit apartment complex run by LifeMoves to house homeless and very poor residents. The first floor has a service center and a medical clinic.
Jan. 13, 2:41 p.m. — A chemical smell coming from the fifth floor of the Opportunity Center, a Palo Alto apartment complex for the homeless and poor, has drawn a significant response from firefighters who are trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.
The odor was reported at 12:30 p.m. today (Jan. 11). At 2 p.m., fire Battalion Chief Shane Yarbrough was still planning how to respond as several trucks from Mountain View and Palo Alto waited outside and residents looked on.
Firefighters filled two portable containers with water on the street in front of 33 Encina Ave.
The Opportunity Center is an 88-unit apartment complex that houses homeless and very poor residents. The first and second floors have two nonprofit service centers and a medical clinic.