Anthrax scare hits Calexico

October 16, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The anthrax scare hit home Monday.

According to the Calexico Fire Department, a call came in at 11:49 a.m. from Pronto Market on Heffernan Avenue.

A Pronto employee was sorting mail for delivery to the market's second-story cluster of post office boxes when a white powdery substance fell from a letter.

The employee immediately told her boss and the Fire Department was contacted.

Calexico fire Capt. David Lantzer said, "They did everything right."

When the Fire Department checked out the letter firefighters found someone had ripped a small baggy that was inside the letter.

Inside the bag was a sample of a food additive — a powdered mix that can be added to bread ingredients to give the bread a raspberry flavor.


Lantzer said if firefighters had found something suspicious they would have called Imperial County hazardous materials technicians.

"We felt early on that it wasn't going to be a hazardous materials incident," Lantzer said.

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