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2 Men Arrested In Vapor Cloud Incident; Evacuations But No Injuries

December 29, 1986

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) _ Officials noticed smoke pouring from a small industrial shop early Sunday and found the fumes were toxic, prompting the evacuation of more than 50 people and the arrest of two men on suspicion of operating a drug laboratory.

Two deputies noticed the smoke just before 2 a.m., and officials determined the cloud contained chloroform and ether.

Fifty to 75 people were evacuated from a four-block area and sent to a makeshift shelter at a nearby church until they were allowed to return to their homes at about 8 a.m., said fire Battalion Chief Rick Risdon.

Michael Lee Holt, of Rough and Ready, and Robert Wayne Poston, of Livermore, both in their 30s, were arrested on suspicion of manufacturing speed and crank, a methamphetamine, said sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Buchalter.

Two sheriff’s deputies and two firefighters were exposed to the cloud and received precautionary treatment, said Risdon.

None of the residents evacuated reported injury or illness, he said.

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