Air Handler Unit Issues Prompt Emergency Evacuation in Harlingen

Posted: Updated: Dec 28, 2017 01:13 PM

HARLINGEN – Fire officials said mechanical issues with an air handler forced the evacuation of dozens of patients at a Harlingen healthcare center.

The Veranda Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center near Expressway 83 was evacuated around 11 a.m. Thursday. 

According to fire officials, the mechanical issues with the air handler caused a rubber compartment to burn, which then created smoke and set off the alarms. 

Employees said 82 residents were moved outside; many of them wheelchair-bound.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS was on site as patients had to wait about an hour outside in the cold until fire crews cleared the facility.

All patients were assessed after the incident.

No one sustained injuries or required medical treatment. 

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