Smoke Causes Chatham Club Evacuation

Fire officials believe it may have come from an air conditioning unit.

A smoke condition at , possibly from an air conditioning unit, caused an evacuation on Thursday afternoon.

A club employee estimated 50 people were inside at the time of the evacuation, with many of them leaving for the day once they were ushered out. First responders were dispatched to the scene at 1:20 p.m.

Lt. Matt Behra said, though officials are not 100 percent sure at this time, it is believed that one of the air conditioning units on the roof caused the condition.

"Smoke drifted down into one of the racquetball courts," Behra said. "There was a light haze of smoke and the smell of something burning throughout the main floor."

As of 2:10 p.m., employees and patrons were allowed back into the building, but only on the right side. The left side remained closed, as it appeared as though the possibly affected unit is only causing an odor in one racquetball court. Fans were running to disperse the smoke.

Maintenance was reportedly on the way to check into the HVAC unit.

Joy Paterson was one of the employees at the club when the evacuation occurred.

"I was in the physical therapy room and they came and told us we were evacuating," she said.

At that time, Paterson said she couldn't smell anything. However, "then we came into the hallway and you could smell it," she said.

Fire departments from , and Green Village responded, as well as the and .


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