Ventilation issue closes Sheriff’s Office

Ventilation problems forced the administrative staff of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office to leave work at midday Monday.

The Sheriff’s Office administrative operations remained closed for the remainder of the day but are expected to resume Tuesday.

Sheriff Timothy C. Carter said a power outage in Woodstock contributed to a problem with the ventilation system in the department’s windowless basement offices. Carter said deputy road patrols and other law enforcement activities were unaffected by the breakdown.

Carter said the administrative staff was sent home around 12:30 or 1 p.m.

“There was a power outage but something occurred in that building,” Carter said, adding that the ventilation stopped operating.

“There was a smell and people were getting nauseous, and we shut down the office,” Carter said.

Maj. Scott Proctor said “something malfunctioned and burned out” in the ventilation system.

“It was pretty dense in there and heavy and of course the system wouldn’t work to eliminate it,” Proctor said of the smell.

The Shenandoah County Clerk of Courts, which is directly upstairs from the Sheriff’s Office, also shut down for about an hour and a half after losing electricity. The office reopened by mid afternoon, and the staff returned to finish the day.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com