A strong odor at first believed to be natural gas forced the evacuation of the Stanislaus County Superior courthouse for one hour this morning.
Workers could not identify the source of the leak, so the Modesto Fire Department was called and ordered the evacuation of the building at 800 11th St. downtown, court executive officer Mike Tozzi said.
“The odor was very strong,” Tozzi said.
Fire officials said they believe the odor may have been caused by a chlorine-based cleaning product that went into the ventilation system.
A hazardous materials team called in to analyze the air found conditions normal, so the courthouse was reopened at 11:15 a.m..