Glendale Police received a call at 3:40 p.m. Wednesday and came to the
scene along with the city Fire Department's Hazardous Materials Unit. An
official with the county HazMat team also responded.
About 40 shoppers and a dozen employees were evacuated from the
building, and initial tests of the powder ruled out some substances, Fox
Prospective shoppers were turned away throughout the afternoon. The
store was expected to reopen today.
The incident reflects the tension that exists throughout the country
over the possibility of a bioterrorist attack. Since the Sept. 11
tragedy, HazMat teams throughout the United States have been called out
over suspicious packages and substances.
It will likely be several days before the Los Angeles County
Department of Health's HazMat team can determine what the substance is.
"It will be some time before we know what it is," Fox said. "You just
don't know, because there are so many tests."
Police are taking no additional precautions in the area because the
substance was found inside the location, Fox said.
"There's no danger outside the store," Fox added.
Officials at the scene spoke with FBI agents, who determined that no
real threat existed inside the store, he said.
"Neither the substance nor the circumstance deem that there's any
threat here," Fox said. "There's no medical emergencies; it should be OK.
We're just checking it to be safe."