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Police, hazmat and others respond to caller's concerns

A phone call from a man concerned about a friend's behaviour results in scene on Pandora Avenue in Abbotsford

A call to police late Wednesday afternoon triggered officers, Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service, a hazmat team and ambulance personnel to set up in front of a home on Pandora Avenue, not sure of what they would encounter.

The incident ended an hour later when the subject of the call was located safely at a home in another area of the city, where he was watching a hockey game.

Const. Ian MacDonald said Abbotsford Police had been contacted by a person who was concerned about the behaviour of a friend, whom he said had mental health issues and "might be having a bad day."

MacDonald said he could not reveal details about the call, but the person indicated that his friend had been making strange remarks in the last few weeks.

The caller suggested police should visit the home, located in the 32000 block of Pandora Avenue, where the man lived in the basement suite.

MacDonald said police did not know what kind of situation they might find, and they had to be prepared for any eventuality.

"All we have is the information provided to us … Nobody wants to be responsible for saying, 'This is probably nothing.' "

The upstairs residents of the house and occupants of the adjacent homes were evacuated while the area around the residence was cordoned off and a Hazmat decontamination tent was set up in the street.

During this time, police tried to reach the man by cellphone and, when they finally made contact, they confirmed that he was safe at another home. No chemicals were found in his suite, and the scene was cleared without incident.

Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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