Santa Rosa food company evacuated after release of disinfectant chemicals

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SANTA ROSA (BCN) — The Santa Rosa Fire Department is investigating the release of chemicals that caused the evacuation of two dozen employees of a frozen food company Tuesday morning.

Firefighters responded to a 9:45 a.m. hazardous materials alarm at Amy’s Kitchen at 3000 Dutton Ave., Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal said.

About two dozen employees had already evacuated the building when firefighters arrived, and evacuations in the surrounding area were ordered, Lowenthal said.

Several pipes used to transport pressurized chemicals in the building had failed and sprayed a mist or fog, Lowenthal said.

Firefighters narrowed the cause of the hazardous materials incident to sodium hydroxide and sodium hypochlorite, which are used to disinfect kitchen equipment, according to Lowenthal.

A hazmat team wore specialized chemical resistant suits, entered the building and shut down the systems supplying the air under pressure to the chemical piping. The chemical flow was contained to the building, Lowenthal said.

Firefighters released the building to Amy’s Kitchen for cleanup around 12:30 p.m., he said.

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