Ammonia leak reported at Providence business

Fire crews were at the scene of a hazardous-materials situation at the corner of Ellenfield and Baker streets in Providence Tuesday morning.

An ammonia leak was reported at J.L. Anthony & Co. at about 9:30 a.m. The company is a metal manufacturer for aerospace industry.

Some nearby businesses were evacuated while crews contained the leak. The fire department said after the leak was contained that they aired out the building and then would go in to monitor the air quality.

The leak started when ammonia was being delivered.{} The fire chief said a 150-pound cylinder started to leak as it was being hooked up.

The chief says the amount of the leak was very small and there was minimal danger to the public.{} Just to be cautious crews evacuated not only the business itself but nearby buildings down wind of the leak. They wanted to be sure any ammonia fumes could not get into nearby buildings through the ventilation systems.

"It combines with moisture and if it gets into your lungs, there's a lot of moisture in the lungs and it will burn your lungs. It'll start to fill up with fluid and you'll die of suffocation," Fire Chief Michael Dillon said.

One worker, who was evacuated from a nearby building, told NBC 10 that nothing like this has ever happened in the two years she's worked in the area and called it a scary situation.

The fire chief said the leak appeared to be simply a malfunction but that it's under investigation.