Shortly after 4 p.m. last Friday, one of the city's two heating boilers blew up, sending smoke and asbestos fibers through the ducts and knocking the door off the ground floor mechanical room.
Air tests done on Saturday morning showed that asbestos fibers were hanging in the air at unsafe levels in at least a couple locations at City Hall, which forced the complete closure of the building while experts dealt with the problem, officials said.
What they did was to run high-powered fans with lots of filters on ever floor for a day to replace all of the air in the building several times over.
Tests on Sunday determined that the asbestos was gone, except from the mechanical room where the boiler is located. It is completely sealed off now.
What happens next is that a cleanup firm is going to go in to the sealed off room wearing those spaceman-type suits and take care of the mess.
I'll have the details later about what seems to have happened, but it appears the city may have to replace one or both of its half century-old boilers at City Hall, a potentially costly necessity.
In the meantime, city officials say the building is safe for employees and the public.
More to come on all of this later. I only heard it about late yesterday but I've got a lot to pass on now.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org