Chemical Spill Prompts Large-Scale Hazardous Material Response to Hale YMCA

by Quiet Corner Alerts on 02-16-2023

Putnam, Conn. - A chemical spill prompted the evacuation of the Hale YMCA on Wednesday evening. Fire crews from as far as the New London Submarine Base were called to assist with the Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) Response.

At approximately 5:36 PM on Wednesday, February 15th, 2023, the Putnam Fire Department was dispatched for reports of a small chemical container leaking in a back room of the Hale YMCA, 9 Technology Dr, according to Putnam Fire Department's Chief, Bob Campbell.

Chief Campbell went on to tell Quite Corner Alerts, two firefighters entered the building, with Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBAs), to conduct an initial investigation. During this investigation, crews found a maintenance room with a large quantity of liquid chemicals on the floor. At this point, the decision was made to evacuate crews from the building and activate the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP), Connecticut Eastern Regional Response Integrated Team (CERRIT), UCONN HAZMAT Team, and the Mohegan Tribal HAZMAT Team.

YMCA workers were able to evacuate the majority of people from the building prior to the fire department's arrival. Only a small number of people needed to be assisted out of the structure by the firefighters.

It was determined that a company that had recently worked on a chemical unit in the building had left a hose in a bucket of muriatic acid, which self-siphoned itself onto the floor resulting in a release of gas.

There were no injuries as a result of this incident.

All the liquid chemical has been removed from HAZMAT personnel. A small amount did make its way into the sewer system, but it will deconcentrate and is not a hazard. An air quality check was conducted in the building with no hazardous results and the building was deemed safe for reentry at approximately 8:30 pm.

There were no injuries as a result of this incident.

Chief Campbell finished by saying "the CERRIT Team is made up largely of area local firefighters. Everyone works to do the same thing, help people and property. It works out great when everyone works together."

Agencies who responded, or were dispatched, included the Putnam Fire Department ,Muddy Brook Fire Department , Bungay Fire Brigade , Quinebaug Vol FD , Community Fire Company , Norwich Fire Department , Mohegan Tribal Fire Dept. , IAFF Local S-15 UConn Fire-Rescue , Submarine Base Firefighters Local F-219 , Mashantucket Public Safety Putnam EMS , and the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) .