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El Cajon Home Depot Evacuated for Noxious Fumes from Pesticide

More than a dozen people felt ill and a full evacuation was in affect.

A broken bottle of pesticide sent noxious fumes through an El Cajon home-improvement store Friday afternoon, leaving more than a dozen people feeling ill and prompting a full evacuation.

Emergency personnel got a report about the stench permeating the Home Depot in the 200 block of Fletcher Parkway in El Cajon about 2:30 p.m., city spokeswoman Monica Zech said.

Medics evaluated 13 people who were complaining of nausea and headaches, Zech said. None of them required hospital treatment.

All customers and staffers were cleared out of the store, and hazardous- materials teams were called in to determine the source of the vapors, according to Zech. The cause turned out to be spilled malathion in the store's garden section, she said.

The business is expected to reopen this evening.

-City News Service

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