NORWAY – A local business was evacuated briefly Monday afternoon after smoke and fumes were detected in a lab at the back of the Oxford Hills Dental Associates building. No one was injured.

A patient having her teeth cleaned had the procedure interrupted when an employee found a melted light witch plate in the lab and saw smoke in the air.

“It was an old switch that malfunctioned,” fire Chief Dennis Yates said. Firefighters responded to the call at 232 Main St. shortly after 2 p.m. and within 10 minutes had taken off the Sheetrock and capped off the switch to ensure there was no fire in the walls.

Tami Garey, a dental assistant, said she came in about 7:30 a.m. and noticed a strong odor she and others described as like an electrical or chemical problem.

“It was hard to tell where it was,” she said while standing outside in 30 degree weather waiting for the firefighters to complete their investigation. Garey said the smell was very strong throughout the entire morning but because the seven employees present thought it had a chemical smell and may have been caused by cleaning fluids, they did not immediately get concerned.

Around 2 p.m., Garey said she saw smoke in the air of the lab, which is in the lower level of the back of the building, and saw a switch plate had melted. The employees called 911 and evacuated the building.

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