Smashed bottles in truck cause chemical spill in Santa Rosa that closed road

A Hazmat crew from the Santa Rosa Fire Department spent six hours Friday working to mitigate a chemical spill from a truck parked outside a company specializing in dishwashing and laundry systems.

The incident happened around 2:50 p.m. outside Auto-Chlor at 27 Maxwell Court when numerous pallets containing 1 gallon and 2 1/2 gallon chemical bottles shifted and fell to inside a tractor-trailer during transport, causing bottles to rupture, spill and emit a cloud of toxic gas, Battalion Commander Matthew Gloeckner said in a press release.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the rear doors of the truck open and fluid leaking out the rear.

The truck driver and an Auto-Chlor representative said the truck had arrived for delivery, and when they opened the back of the truck, there was a gas cloud and a hissing sound.

The department launched a full hazmat response and closed traffic for hours on Maxwell Court. Team members deployed a drone to fly inside the trailer to determine the problem. Then, wearing chemical protective suits with self-contained breathing apparatus, the team members entered. They found 15 bottles had toppled over and tipped over, Gloeckner said.

They packed the containers in secondary containment and used a neutralizing agent to absorb the chemicals spilled in the truck and on the ground.

Firefighters said no liquid entered local waterways or storm drains, and no injuries were reported, according to the statement. There were no threats against residents, according to the department.

After the spill abated, the truck was turned over to Auto-Chlor for cleanup, Gloeckner said.

The response included three engines, a ladder truck, a fire investigator, Gloeckner, and the Hazardous Materials Unit. Representatives from the California Bureau of Emergency Services assisted.

You can reach editor Kathleen Coates at [email protected] or 707-521-5209.