NORTH ATTLEBORO — A special team was called in to assist local firefighters Tuesday night at a Broad Street industrial building when high levels of carbon monoxide were found and ammonia involvement was feared.
Fire Chief Christopher Coleman said he called for a hazardous materials response to a three-story industrial building at 262 Broad St.
Coleman said the public was never in danger and the carbon monoxide was confined to the single building.
The signs on the building says it houses Precision Engineered Products and Polymet.
Colemen said an alarm sounded indicating that a sprinkler system had been triggered but when the first fire crews entered the building, a carbon monoxide meter worn by a lieutenant indicated high levels of the invisible and poisonous gas present in the building.
Firefighters never did find a sprinkler that triggered, Coleman said.
The fire chief said all firefighters were ordered out of the building and were not allowed in until they were wearing breathing tanks.
He said the initial levels of the gas were 200 parts per million when the correct levels should be 0 parts per million.
As crews worked through the building trying to find the source of the gas, they found a piece of machinery used to treat wastewater that was reading 400 parts per million of carbon monoxide and the machine was near ammonia tanks.
He said the crews weren’t sure if the tanks were part of the problem or not and until the tanks and the machine were shut, crews couldn’t vent fresh air into the building, clearing the carbon monoxide out.
The hazardous materials response was requested just before 8:30 p.m., which summoned members of a regional hazmat team to the scene to assist local fire crews.
Once firefighters had the machinery and the ammonia tanks shut off they were able to vent the building and finished that process after 10 p.m.