Freon leak in a building makes for some tense moments in downtow - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Freon leak in a building makes for some tense moments in downtown Spirit Lake

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SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (KUOO) -

A freon leak in a building made for some tense moments late yesterday afternoon and early evening in downtown Spirit Lake.

Fire Chief Pat Daly tells KTIV's news partner KUOO news firefighters were called to the former Iowa Electric Building at the corner of Lake Street and Hill Avenue around 5:00 pm.

"One of the contractors had nicked one of the Freon lines and it filled up the whole basement full of Freon, Spirit Lake Fire Chief Pat Daly said. "Freon is like four times heavier than air so it stayed way down on the bottom of the basement, and of course there wasn't any windows to vent it out. I did end up calling Sioux City Hazmat which the county contracts with and they gave me some advice how to deal with it. We finally got a fan we could put down there and draw it up out of the basement."

Daly says it's fortunate the incident happened fairly late in the day. Otherwise, he says they would have had to have evacuated some neighboring businesses.

"We would of if they had been open but there was a bunch of them that were closed already, so we just kind of watched the wind and played the wind a little bit."

Daly says it's the first incident of its kind he's had to deal with in his 35 years of experience as a firefighter.

And as if that wasn't enough, Daly says firefighters could also smell natural gas in an alley leaking from a meter behind the building. Black Hills Energy responded to the scene and took care of the matter.

Firefighters were on the scene a couple of hours.

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