LAWTON, Okla. (KFOR) – The Comanche County Courthouse closed to the public Thursday afternoon after an employee working in the basement was exposed to an unknown chemical that caused a medical response.

Emergency Management officials say that the employee has been sent to the emergency room and the Courthouse has been evacuated out of an abundance of caution until the Lawton Fire Department’s Hazmat team and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics can determine what chemical he was exposed to and if there is any threat to other employees of the courthouse.

The employee’s status is unknown at this time.

Emergency Management officials ask that residents avoid the courthouse until further notice.

A shelter for evacuees is open until 11 p.m. at Hilliary Communications, 22937 OK-58, in Lawton. Evacuees are advised to drive around to the back of the building.