GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport fire crews are currently at the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) in Gulfport to investigate a reported chlorine leak. It was reported a little after 3 p.m.
Gulfport Fire Chief Michael Beyerstedt described the leak as a hazmat incident. He says the leak is in an outbuilding at the facility. Beyerstedt said workers noticed a strong chlorine odor. When they went to check on it. the smell was too strong for them to enter the building.
Firefighters are putting on their level one hazmat suits to go into the building.
“Hopefully, it’s a matter of shutting off a valve to stop the leak,” Beyerstedt said.
Residents watched everything from their balconies as the threat posed very little danger to them. A pair of firefighters were seen going into a fenced-in area where the chlorine tanks are. After the returned, they were scrubbed down.
A spokeswoman for AFRH told WLOX residents and staff have been told to take shelter in place, meaning no one is allowed in or out of the property.
No injuries have been reported.
Firefighters say the leak is at a chlorine tank used for water treatment. The tank is in a building that houses the AFRH backup water system used to treat water if the city’s water supply is unavailable.
Officials are investigating the cause. Five fire units and a pair of ambulances responded to the scene.