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Ronald McDonald House evacuated after report of unknown substance

A decision was made to evacuate Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon after an unknown substance was found on the premises. Devin Sauer / Global News

Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon was briefly evacuated Thursday morning after an unknown substance was found on the premises.

Both the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) and Emergency Measures Organization were called to the scene just after 9:45 a.m.

An employee was concerned about something they found.

READ MORE: Mayday situation for Saskatoon firefighters inside house south of city

“The housekeeping staff were cleaning a room and they came across a substance they weren’t familiar with,” said Wayne Rodger, an assistant chief with SFD.

Although there were no initial public safety concerns, a decision was made to evacuate the entire building nearly 40 minutes later.

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Rodger confirmed 31 people were evacuated, including 15 residents, and that safety is paramount in these situations.

“Anytime there’s a substance that is unknown, there’s a potential for it to be a hazard to personal health,” Rodger explained.

“This is a service we provide to the citizens of Saskatoon and we’ve implemented this service on a number of occasions in order to ensure the safety of citizens.”

READ MORE: Mobile home fire west of Saskatoon under investigation

Hazmat crews later determined there was no hazard.

Traffic in the area of College Drive and Clarence Avenue was restricted for a couple of hours while the investigation was carried out.

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