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Baltimore County Fire Department hazmat unit called to Towson's SECU Arena after commencement

Baltimore County Fire Department units, including the hazmat team, responded to a call about an “unknown substance” at Towson University’s SECU Arena Wednesday afternoon.

No injuries were reported and the department said that crews determined no health hazard existed at the arena.

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The arena hosted the first of three days of commencement ceremonies Wednesday afternoon. Towson University spokesman Sean Welsh said the call to the fire department was made after a graduating student “released an unknown substance in celebration while walking across the stage.”

“The ceremony continued as planned, as the student was removed and questioned by [Towson University police], and at no time was anyone in harm’s way,” Welsh said in a statement. “After the conclusion of the ceremony, out of an abundance of caution, Baltimore County hazmat was called to the scene to investigate. TUPD and Baltimore County will continue to jointly investigate.”

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Baltimore County Fire spokesman Tim Rostkowski said units were called to SECU Arena around 5:10 p.m. and cleared the area around 6 p.m.

Rostkowski said the department determined the substance was not hazardous but he declined to say what it was, saying: “Whatever it is, it’s not a big deal.”

After writing on Twitter that the building had been evacuated, Baltimore County Fire said: “Crews have determined that no health hazard existed at SECU Arena. The building was emptying after an event ended; it was not evacuated as previously noted.”

Rostkowski said when crews arrived the building was empty so they assumed it had been evacuated, but that in reality the graduation event had just ended.

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