Warehouse near downtown given all-clear after overnight ammonia leak

4 employees at Kiolbassa Provision Company checked out by paramedics

SAN ANTONIO – A warehouse just southwest of downtown has been given the all-clear after an ammonia leak overnight.

San Antonio firefighters packed up and left the facility, located in the 1500 block of S. San Marcos around 5 a.m. Tuesday.

They had been at the site since about 11:30 p.m. Monday, initially trying to stop the leak, then to air out the building slowly.

Firefighters had to call in their hazardous materials team for help with the situation which had the potential to send a cloud of ammonia gas throughout the community.

Battalion chief Jarrett Vocke said an ammonia gas line in a ceiling at Kiolbassa Provision Company ruptured. The line feeds a refrigeration system.

“We had a large amount of ammonia gas inside the warehouse area that had to be slowly released so that we did not end up with a plume of ammonia going downwind,” Vocke said. “We were able to use water fogs to contain that.”

Four employees who were complaining of respiratory problems were checked out at the scene by paramedics. Vocke said they did not need to be taken to a hospital.

Everyone working inside the building had to evacuate.

At one point, there were some workers who were unaccounted for. They later were found safe.

Vocke said it may be at least a few days before the plant can reopen.

However, several workers were seen showing up for their morning shifts.

So far, there has been no word from the company, Kiolbassa Smoked Meats, on what the future plans are for the building.

About the Authors: