Earlier this afternoon there was an incident on Carter Street at the Breakaway Ice center in Tewksbury, reports Tewksbury Fire Department Chief Joseph Kearns. A pressure relief valve released, which caused ammonia to be released into the air. The immediate actions taken by the Tewksbury Fire Department ensured there were limited casualties.
The first arriving crews assisted with evacuation. People who were inside the building were led out a rear door, away from the direction that the wind was blowing. The next arriving crews, with the assistance of the Tewksbury Police Department, evacuated homes in the area.
TFD requested assistance from the District 6 Hazardous Materials Team. They responded and were able to safely shut off the valves to the affected machinery. At this time, all meter readings taken in the building and throughout the neighborhood show no signs of any hazards.
There was one minor injury to a worker at the facility, who was transported to the hospital for evaluation and released.
Kearns would like to acknowledge the excellent and quick response by the members of the Tewksbury Fire Department in dealing with what was a serious situation. He also thanks the Tewksbury Police Department for their assistance in securing the area and helping with evacuations. Andover Fire assisted at the scene, while the Billerica and Wilmington Fire Departments provided mutual aid coverage.