Smoke from a compressor unit in the laboratory resulted in a call to the Kern County Fire Department and evacuation of Tehachapi Hospital just after 11 a.m. on Monday, May 26.
Tehachapi's traditional Memorial Day ceremony was just getting underway when sirens could be heard a few blocks from Philip Marx Central Park.
According to Sgt. Kevin Paille of the Tehachapi Police Department, protocol called for evacuation of the hospital. He said there were 17 ambulatory patients in the hospital plus four or five in the emergency room.
Patients were moved quickly to nearby areas and eventually to a shady area adjacent to the Hitching Post Theater.
Firefighters made a sweep of the hospital, determined that the problem was isolated and shut off power to the compressor unit, then cleared the hospital of smoke.
The hospital declared the "Code Red" clear at about 11:48 a.m. and patients were returned to the facility.