Am­mo­nia leak at Cody Banks

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY NIGEL ARMSTRONG THE GUARDIAN

Char­lot­te­town fire­fight­ers were called to Cody Banks Arena Tues­day were a re­port had come in of am­mo­nia in the air.

Am­mo­nia is a gas used in the re­frig­er­a­tion sys­tem of rinks to make ice and keep it cool.

The unit was shut down for the sum­mer, said Deputy Fire Chief Tim Mayme, but there was a slight smell of am­mo­nia when there should be none. Fire­fight­ers con­trolled the area, got clients out of the build­ing, in­clud­ing a kick-box­ing club and peo­ple prac­tis­ing roller derby, then stood by to es­cort some re­frig­er­a­tion tech­ni­cians into the arena.

“It was a main­te­nance is­sue,” said Mayme. “(Am­mo­nia) never reached alarm lev­els.”

This is the sec­ond time in re­cent years that such an event has oc­curred.

A more se­ri­ous am­mo­nia leak in Novem­ber 2013 caused an evac­u­a­tion of Sher­wood school next door. At that time a leak in the ice-mak­ing sys­tem had to be con­tained by mem­bers of the pro­vin­cial haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als, or Haz­mat, team.

Tues­day’s event be­ing less se­ri­ous saw chil­dren play­ing on the school play­ground right next door and pedes­tri­ans strolling by on the side­walks around the build­ing. The roller-derby en­thu­si­asts and kick box­ers, how­ever, were not al­lowed to get their cars from the park­ing lot. Fire­fight­ers were tasked with get­ting their keys and driv­ing their ve­hi­cles to a meet­ing point by the school next door.

NIGEL ARMSTRONG/THE GUARDIAN

Char­lot­te­town fire­fight­ers pre­pare to en­ter the Cody banks Area to check re­ports of an am­mo­nia leak.

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