A HazMat situation led to an evacuation of the area around the Oxarc Company in north Lewiston, ID, Wednesday after a chlorine leak, officials said.

The call turned into a hazmat situation that prompted the evacuation of local businesses and some nearby residents.

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An employee reported hearing a hissing sound from a 150-pound chlorine tank and the worker called 911 and evacuated the building, said Deputy Fire Chief Gaylon Waits.

The employee who heard the noise was checked out at the scene and didn’t need medical attention.

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Lewiston Police and fire cleared a radius of 500-feet away from the leak as a safety precaution.

Waits said the department’s HazMat team gets called out a few times a year.

“Typically, we get called out to incidents three or four times a year for some sort of event, it’s not always a gas leak, fuel spills, things like that,” said Fire Chief Waits.

The region II hazmat team responded, and residents were kept away for a few hours. Fire Officials said no one suffered an injury in the incident.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the extent of poisoning caused by chlorine depends on the amount a person is exposed to, how the person was exposed, and the length of time of the exposure.

When chlorine gas comes into contact with your eyes, throat, and lungs, an acid is produced that can damage these tissues. You can decontaminate by washing the exposed areas. If it’s severe seek medical help.

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