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Local News

Refrigerant Leak Forces Evacuation, Closure of Goleta Costco

Firefighters trace the leak to the store’s coolers, and spend several hours ventilating the building of the gas

A refrigerant leak forced the evacuation and shut down of Costco store in Goleta for several hours Monday afternoon, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The incident occurred shortly before 4 p.m. at the store at 7095 Market Place Drive in the Camino Real Marketplace.

Firefighters responded four engines plus its hazardous-materials team and other support personnel to the incident, said Capt. David Sadecki.

The problem was traced to a leak of R22 refrigerant from the store’s coolers, Sadecki said, adding that the substance is a flammable gas.

After employees and customers were evacuated, firefighters gained access to the building and were able to shut down the compressors and stop the leak, Sadecki said.

They remained on scene for several hours ventilating the building of the gas, which is much heavier than regular air.

Most of the fire units were released by about 6:30 p.m.

Cause of the leak remained under investigation, Sadecki said.

The county’s Air Pollution Control District was notified of the gas release, Sadecki said.

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