July 12 2016

Firefighters Respond to HazMat Situation at Ice Palace

By: Rich Hosford


Massachusetts Hazardous Materials Response Team at the Ice Palace. Photo courtesy JoeBrownPhotos.com






The Burlington Fire Department responded to a hazmat situation at the Burlington Ice Palace on Ray Avenue on Monday night. 


Chief Steve Yetman said that at 6:21 p.m. the department received a call reporting the smell of ammonia in the building. 


Firefighters responded in force, sending out Engines 1 and 2, the tower truck, the shift commander’s vehicle and Ambulance 1. When they arrived they encountered people self-evacuating and began assisting with the evacuation process. They also evacuated the Planet Fitness next door. 


“We got people to a safe location,” Yetman said. 


An ammonia leak was quickly identified inside, as a refrigerant company was working on site. Due to the potential danger, the Burlington Fire Department activated the Massachusetts Hazardous Materials Response Team, which brought a multitude of resources to town for assistance.


Crews entered the building several times throughout the evening to monitor the situation, isolate the leak, and ventilate the building with fresh air. 


Fortunately nobody was injured in the incident and there were no ambulance transports. 


Yetman said Crews were on scene until 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when the situation was declared all clear. During that time Woburn and Bedford fire departments helped cover incidents in town through mutual assistance.  


Chief Yetman praised the work of firefighters and hazmat technicians, especially Burlington Fire Lt. John Skinner, the incident commander.


"A quick and efficient response ensured that that the building was evacuated and the scene was rendered safe without harm coming to any civilians or first responders," Chief Yetman said.


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