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Hazmat scare in the Central West End

The release of a small amount of a toxic gas led the fire department's hazardous management team to suit up earlier today.

St. Louis city police and fire crews responded to a late morning call to a building at McPherson and Skinker which is in the process of demolition.

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Harris explains how some anhydrous ammonia was released. "There was an old refrigeration unit in the basement and likely there was residual anhydrous and either it was heated with his cutting or just trapped and released," said Harris.

Harris says anhydrous ammonia is lighter than air and in small amounts like this, dissipates quickly. No gas escaped the building. He says every precaution is used on each of these calls. regardless of the extent. All crews worked in Hazmet suits today with two hazardous management vehicles on site.

There were no injuries. 

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