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AMMONIA LEAK COVERS LARGE AREA BEFORE LOCATED

Just after 10 pm Friday , Houston Fire Department began receiving calls of a chemical odor in the area of Minute Maid Park and also the soccer stadium. Many patrons at the area clubs also were smelling the ammonia odor. HAZ-Mat teams and firefighters began searching the area for the source. Over an hour later, they arrived at the intersection of Polk and Ennis, close to a mile away. The  entire city block is occupid by a building owned by Freedman Meat Packing. Outside firefighters found several employees. They quickly learned that an ammonia line inside the building which is used as refrigerant for the coolers started to leak. They vented the building through the roof but never notified emergency services. Firefighters entering the building found extremely heavy concentrations of ammonia. “Big Blow”, a massive fan was ordered to the scene and set up to pressurize the building and rid it of the ammonia. The incident lasted until close to 6am. One firefighter was treated for exposure.

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