Roseville Costco evacuated due to Freon leak

Store officials failed to call 911
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The Roseville Costco was evacuated for a short time Tuesday as the store dealt with a Freon leak from its cooling system. Store officials did not call 911 to report the incident. The Roseville Fire Department didn’t find out about the evacuation until it received a call from a local news network wondering what was going on, according to Jeff Carman, assistant chief with the Roseville Fire Department. This is the second time in less than a month that the Roseville Fire Department has responded to the Roseville Costco, located at 6750 Stanford Ranch Road, because of a Freon leak, Carman said. “Freon is a heavy gas that, while it is not toxic in and of itself, it displaces oxygen in low places,” Carman said. “So it could cause some issues with low oxygen levels.” Carman said the fire department received the call at 3:36 p.m. and arrived at the store four minutes later to find it had already been reoccupied. He said that anytime a building that serves food is evacuated, the Placer County Health Department needs to give special permission to reoccupy the building and certify that the food is safe for human consumption. Employees of the Costco store were unable to comment Tuesday as to why store officials chose to not call 911 during the evacuation. Carman said the Roseville Fire Department sent a hazardous materials prevention officer to the facility and will determine if it was an accidental omission or a deliberate act. Based on conversations the fire department had with store personnel at the scene, Carman said that Costco staff probably didn’t consider Freon to be a hazardous material. No injuries were reported as a result of the incident. On June 22, the Roseville Fire Department responded to the same location after a Freon leak forced the evacuation of the store, Carman said. That incident, which turned out to be a leak from a pressure release valve, occurred shortly after the company had just completed work on the refrigerant system, Carman said. ~ Toby Lewis