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Vandals strike Times news rack

Authorities are looking for people who dumped hazardous chemicals in a Times newspaper rack Monday evening.

The unknown chemicals burned through the newspapers and caused smoke to pour out of the box, which was at Jasmine Boulevard and Hilltop Drive.

Firefighters responded to a call about the incident at 5:45 p.m. and cordoned off the area to await a chemical disposal contractor, said county disaster preparedness director Michele Baker.

Two children who opened the box to throw water on the smoking papers got a faceful of chemical gas but were not injured, Baker said.

Bystanders offered a description of some people seen leaving the site shortly before the smoke started, and Baker said the Sheriff's Office was investigating.

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