At approximately 11:51 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 24, the Santa Barbara County Fire Dept. responded to a hazardous condition call at the Francisco Torres dormitory.
Callers to 911 reported a “chalky, hazy-type smoke” coming from the vents on the 10th floor in South Tower. Firefighters arrived at the scene within minutes and found approximately 20 people complaining of breathing difficulties and miscellaneous nose, eye and throat irritations.
After crews investigated floors one through 10 and every room on the 10th floor, they found a bottle of pepper spray, which had fallen, ruptured and leaked. The product swept through the ventilation system and afflicted 10th-floor residents.
One subject was treated with oxygen but refused further assistance. Santa Barbara County paramedics examined all others affected by the pepper spray and no residents were hospitalized.