Unknown Substance Evacuates Government Building in Florida

LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Firefighters say a substance that forced the evacuation of a government building in Florida has been found to not be hazardous.

Polk County firefighters said in a Facebook post Tuesday that field tests found no biological hazards after roughly 16 people were exposed to an unknown substance. As a precaution everyone inside the Lakeland Polk County Government Center went through a basic decontamination process in which soap and water is used on exposed skin.

Around 50 people were in the building when the incident occurred. Polk’s hazardous materials team responded to assist Lakeland firefighters shortly after 2:30 p.m. No one showed any signs of being ill.

The government center houses the Lakeland courthouse, Property Appraiser offices, Clerk of Courts, Public Defender and others.

The FBI and Lakeland police are investigating.