Anhydrous Ammonia Leak Forces Evacuation
An ammonia leak caused the evacuation of a local business this morning. At about 9:20, The Shreveport Fire Department was called out to Foremost Dairy in the 5300 block of Interstate Drive to a reported anhydrous ammonia leak. Crews arrived to find a one-inch pipe that was leaking from a valve that had ruptured in a maintenance room in the rear of the facility. When the valve ruptured, it started a small fire that caused minor damaged and was extinguished before firefighters arrived. All 136 employees were safely evacuated, and no injuries were reported. Maintenance personnel used an emergency shut-off valve to stop the flow of the hazardous vapor. Everything was under control in under 30 minutes. Fire department spokesman Scott Wolverton firefighers applaud the staff at Foremost for implementing an emergency plan and getting employees out unharmed. He says that prevented a tragedy, like the one that killed Fire Captain Percy Johnson back in 1984. He died three days after responding to an anhydrous ammonia leak at Dixie Cold Storage. A spark caused an explosion, and he was unable to get out of the building.