Rochester firefighters respond to multiple reports of gas leaks - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Rochester firefighters respond to multiple reports of gas leaks

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Extra off-duty reinforcement was called in Wednesday by the Rochester Fire Department to respond to multiple reports of gas leaks. 

Their first was reported just after 9 a.m. at the Associated Milk Producers Inc. plant. Workers were evacuated for an apparent ammonia leak.

According to Larry Mueller, assistant fire marshal for Rochester, there was no threat to the public after the chemical assessment team measured the air quality.

"The wind socks on most plants that have ammonia for refrigeration or large chemical quantities, usually wind socks indicate wind speed or wind direction, should there be a leak, they're familiar, they quickly can define which way it should travel"," Mueller said.

No one was hurt. The cause of the leak is being investigated.

Just two hours later in the 300 block of 16th Ave. S.W., fire crews set up a perimeter around the scene of a reported gas leak in a home.

"We sent a crew into the house and had to back them out because the concentration was too high," said Greg Martin, Rochester Fire Chief.

From there, Minnesota Energy crews shut off the gas meter, however, it didn't stop the leak.

The line was ruptured outside near the roadway.

"We evacuated about eight houses but where they had to pinch off this line is going to result in about a dozen houses without natural gas," Martin said.

Involved in the evacuation was Amy Tijerina and her daycare.

"They just said for safety reasons it would be best to evacuate the children," Tijerina said. "Running a daycare you need to be prepared for anything, but times like this, it was nice to receive some help."

"I wasn't prepared in say I knew this was going to happen," she said. "But thank goodness I had neighbors that helped pitch in and helped us get to a safe place."

After the line was pinched, residents were able to return to their homes.

"And the kids, except for the excitement of the fire truck, weren't really any worse for the wear," Tijerina said.

Rochester Fire Chief Greg Martin said the gas line was two inches in diameter and made of the newer plastic line. There's no word on what caused the line to burst.



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