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Refrigerant leak forces evacuation of Plainville industrial building

About 200 people were evacuated from a Thermo Fisher Scientific facility under construction in Plainville Wednesday, where a cracked pipe is believed to have leaked 2,000 pounds of refrigerant, officials said.

A level two hazmat response was declared at the facility located at 5 Commerce Blvd., Plainville fire officials said in a statement.

The leak is believed to have occurred when a refrigerant system being installed on the second floor was activated and a frozen pipe cracked, the statement said.

There were no injuries in the incident that drew a large state and local public safety response.

“I want to thank our local and state partners for their quick and efficient response to this incident,” Acting Chief Richard Ball said in the statement. “We are grateful that those inside the building were able to quickly and safely evacuate and that no one was injured as a result.”


Firefighters responded around 1 p.m. to a report of the leak at the building. A tier 1 hazmat was declared, and a team from the state Hazardous Materials Response division was dispatched. The incident was later changed to a Tier 2 response, which is declared for a short-term operation, the statement said.

The state fire marshal’s office, and local representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection, Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration were also notified of the incident.

The public was advised to avoid the area while the hazmat response team and firefighters continue to work and ventilate the building through the evening, Plainville fire said.

The incident is under investigation.

Madison Mercado can be reached at madison.mercado@globe.com.