NORWOOD — Chief David Hayes wishes to share information about the Norwood Fire Department’s response to the anhydrous ammonia release at Home Food Markets over the past several days.
Norwood Fire and Police were initially dispatched to Home Food Markets, 140 Morgan Drive, on Monday, Dec. 19 at approximately 11:10 a.m., for a report of an ammonia leak with casualties. The event was declared a Tier 2 Hazardous Materials (HazMat) incident, and the Department of Fire Services deployed HazMat teams with specialized personnel, equipment, and apparatus to assist Norwood Fire. One person died and a second person was hospitalized and treated after being exposed to the chemical.
The building continued to be the subject of high concentrations of ammonia over the next several days. Norwood firefighters and state HazMat teams responded to the site on Tuesday, Dec. 20 for a Tier 1 HazMat Incident, which was later elevated to Tier 2. They entered the building, found and secured a remaining valve. Officials let the building vent overnight and returned on Wednesday, Dec. 21 for a Tier 1 HazMat response. Firefighters eventually declared the building to be safe and released it to Home Food Markets.
“There were so many departments and people that were integral in securing this space and making it safe to enter, and I am extremely grateful to each and every one of our local and state partners for their efficient and professional response,” Chief Hayes said. “I also would like to extend my sincere condolences to the family of the individual that lost his life due to this tragic incident.”
Norwood Fire wishes to thank the Department of Fire Services, the HazMat team members, the Incident Command Unit and the Rehab Units for their assistance with this incident.
This incident remains under investigation by Norwood Police and Fire, State Police detectives assigned to the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office, OSHA, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office.