A report of a paint-like chemical smell came in over the scanner at around 8 p.m. Thursday night. Police, fire and EMS were on scene at 70 Centre Street, an apartment building with a current construction project.
While fire crews examined the interior of the building, police blocked Centre Street from Wellman to Williams, and EMTs tended to those affected at the intersection of Shailer and Harvard Streets. The contractor arrived at about 10:30 p.m.
The incident displaced all of the residents, and two were sent to the hospital after being decontaminated. Scanner reports indicate that the smell may have been xylene, which Wikipedia says is a solvent used to clean metal, and is flammable.
[Edit: The original version of this article incorrectly indicated that the call came in at 10 p.m., when the came in at 8:11 p.m. The piece also implied that only 10 people were displaced. This has been corrected. 4:12 p.m., May 21]
Stephen Walsh contributed to this report.