Fumes seeping from underground prompted a hazardous materials response Tuesday in Temecula, where a business was evacuated and streets cordoned until an investigation determined there were no public safety threats.
The hazmat emergency occurred at about 11:45 a.m. in the 28700 block of Via Montezuma, near Commerce Center Drive, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The agency said multiple engine crews and other resources were sent to the location and encountered occupants of a business complaining of a strong odor.
Firefighters initiated an investigation and detected fumes seeping from a manhole near the structure, which was evacuated.
A total of two businesses in the area of Via Montezuma and Commerce Center were searched to ensure there was no hazmat threat in either of them, and both were ultimately cleared with occupants permitted to return, according to reports from the scene.
However, a battalion chief ordered a “zone of exclusion,” and firefighters, with assistance from sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers, blocked off part of Via Montezuma, as well as segments of several connecting streets, prohibiting motorists and pedestrians from entering the area as a safety precaution, officials said.
No “life hazards” were identified, according to the fire department, and fire personnel cleared the location shortly before 4 p.m. Personnel from the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health remained at the site, working within a closed portion of Via Montezuma.
The other streets were reopened.
The specific source of the fumes was not disclosed.