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SHREVEPORT, La. - It's back to business at Reddy Ice on Monkhouse Drive.

That's where an anhydrous ammonia leak triggered a massive response from Shreveport hazmat crews Tuesday afternoon.

The Department of Environmental Quality is still monitoring the building periodically, according to the Shreveport Fire Department.

They were on scene on Wednesday along with Louisiana State Police and, of course, Reddy Ice management.

It happened on Tuesday right before 3 pm when Shreveport Fire was doing a routine inspection. One officer noticed what could be an anhydrous ammonia leak.

He immediately called state police and DEQ and the four employees inside were immediately evacuated.

The chief of fire prevention, Chris Robinson, says the chemical was found during a follow-up to a routine inspection after they found a violation a month ago.

"During that inspection, he found some violations,” Robinson said. “He gave them 30 days to correct those violations. So, whenever he came back out yesterday for the re-inspection, that's when they discovered the leak."

Anhydrous ammonia has suffocating fumes that can also cause irritation in the throat and eyes.

Shreveport fire along with some other agencies were able to control the incident before it reached any of the four employees that were inside.

When SFD performs their routine inspections, they are looking for anything that violates fire prevention code or the life-safety code. They are also looking for exit and emergency lighting and fire separation.

In this case, they found something that violated one of those codes. Reddy ice was given a month to fix it. When they returned yesterday, they found the chemical leak.

"Like in this event where it was a hazardous material, the fire department was contacted our hazmat team came out,” said Robinson. “Then at that point, we basically turned it over to the fire line and the hazmat guys to take the incident from there."

Neighbors were concerned until they found out what it was and how it was handled. Some didn't even know about it until later that night.

The road was blocked until SFD and the other agencies could get everything under control.

There's a tax company across the street. The owner says she had bring her paperwork to her clients because they could not get to her business.

There's also a day care right down the street. Crews were dispatched right around the time some children were going home, which created a hassle for some of the parents.

First responders say the leak was not at any threat to them.

One neighbor says an ammonia leak has happened near his home before, and because of what happened then, he knew this time he wasn't in danger.

"I realized that ammonia is a pretty serious thing and you have to take precautions, but I've never seen so many fire trucks in one spot in my life,” said Raymond Mascaux. “I couldn't even detect an odor. And in the very, very, very few times that something like that has occurred in the past, there was a faint odor before, but nothing this time."

No other surrounding neighbors or businesses had to evacuate.


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