Fargo, North Dakota Courthouse Evacuated After Chemical Alarm Sounds

Firefighters donned special suits Monday morning to search the federal courthouse here with detectors, after a monitoring system indicated the presence of deadly hydrogen cyanide.


FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- Firefighters donned special suits Monday morning to search the federal courthouse here with detectors, after a monitoring system indicated the presence of deadly hydrogen cyanide.

Assistant Fire Chief Larry Schuh said he was ''sure it's just a false alarm'' caused by an equipment malfunction.

None of the five people who were evacuated from the Quentin N. Burdick Federal Courthouse were showing any signs of being exposed to a hazardous chemical, Schuh said.

''Considering the toxicity of the chemical that (the system) supposedly detected, we have to go through procedures,'' Schuh said.

The alarm sounded around 7 a.m. The courthouse does not open until 7:30 a.m.