Fire officials say an old crimefighting trick may be to blame for a hazmat call in Torrington Monday afternoon.
Fire officials said two people were exposed to a potentially hazardous liquid at a business at 45 Water Street just before 3 p.m.
Officials said they received a call that a man started to feel ill after he opened a safe and a vial of liquid broke.
Fire officials suspect the substance was a vial of Chloropicrin, which was used in old safes to deter thieves. If someone breaks in, the vial breaks and has a tear-gas-like effect.
One person was taken to the hospital. A second person was exposed but refused transport.
A number of businesses and apartments in the area were evacuated. Officials said the concern was that people could be exposed to the vapors.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection brought in their mobile lab to investigate.