Chief Matthew Grafton
25 Central Street
Stoneham, MA 02180-2044
For Immediate Release
Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Stoneham Fire Department Responds to Stop & Shop for Refrigeration Gas Leak
STONEHAM – Chief Matthew Grafton reports that Stoneham Fire Department evacuated Stop & Shop this morning following a refrigeration leak that resulted in a hazmat response.
At 10:42 a.m., the Stoneham Fire Department received a 911 call from a worker in Stop & Shop, 259 Main St., reporting a plumbing issue had caused a gas haze to form in the air.
Engine 2 and Ladder 1 responded to the scene. Crews entered the store, and upon seeing the reported haze, evacuated the building.
Through an on scene investigation, firefighters determined that there was a leak in the store’s refrigeration system, near the frozen food section.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Department of Fire Services’ Tier 1 Hazardous Materials Response Team was called to the scene.
Hazmat crews entered the store wearing self-contained breathing apparatus to assess the situation and to check the air quality.
Initial readings in Stop & Shop showed some gas, an asphyxiant, in the air. However, the majority of the gas had dissipated. The hazmat team was then able to stop the leak and further ventilate the building.
One customer was taken to an area hospital as a precaution. The gas leak did not have an effect on the environment.
Stoneham Fire, along with the hazmat team, cleared the scene around 1:30 p.m. The Board of Health is currently on scene and, following an inspection, the store is expected to re-open later this evening.
“I want to thank the state hazmat team for aiding us in our response, along with the Stoneham Police Department and Action Ambulance for their assistance on scene,” Chief Grafton said. “We are thankful that there were no serious injuries and the issue was quickly mitigated.”