Salem Fire & EMS responds to ammonia leak at US Foods

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) -- The Salem Fire & EMS Department responded to an alarm for ammonia at US Foods Wednesday morning.

According to a news release, the incident occurred at approximately 11:54 a.m. When firefighters arrived at the facility, located at 40 Fort Lewis Boulevard, employees confirmed that there was an ammonia leak inside of a mechanical room.

A Regional Hazardous Materials response was initiated, and personnel from the Salem Fire & EMS Department, Roanoke Fire & EMS Department and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management all responded to the incident. The leak was confined to the equipment room and the rest of the building was not evacuated during the incident, the report stated.

The first units arrived within six minutes of receiving the call and located the leak in a refrigeration unit. Initially, crews worked with US Foods personnel to pinpoint the extent of the leak and ensure that it was properly contained to its point of origin, the release added.

Hazardous Materials Technicians, wearing Level A suits, entered the plant and were able to repair the leak in the unit at approximately 3:15 p.m. The building was monitored to ensure there were no additional hazards before responders left the scene.

Approximately 18 personnel from the Salem Fire & EMS Department , Roanoke Fire & EMS Departmen and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (Regional Hazardous Materials Officer) responded to the call.