Fans air out Gary jail paint fumes
by Lori Caldwell firstname.lastname@example.org | 648-3258 September 4, 2012 4:38PM
Updated: April 5, 2013 10:02AM
GARY — Some offices on the first floor of the Public Safety Facility closed briefly Tuesday when paint fumes caused city workers and visitors to feel ill.
“Somehow the fumes just worked their way through the ventilation system to the lobby area,” Cmdr. Pete Sormaz said.
The Gary Fire Department was called to 555 Polk St. about noon when vapors began seeping from the jail to the front desk and records area.
When workers opened the doors into the lobby, the fumes spread down the hall, creating complaints in several public areas of the first floor.
“GFD brought another fan and we were able to clear it out,” Sormaz said.
Although several workers complained of nausea and light-headedness, no one was taken to the hospital.
Most of the building has been without air conditioning since June.
Inmates from the Indiana State Prison were painting jail cells at the west end of the holding facility, Sormaz said. Fans in that area were venting outdoors and the actual jail area was not affected by the chemicals.
Sormaz said repairs on some damaged bunks and broken pipes at six cells were completed last week.
The painting project was expected to be completed Tuesday.