A broken line in a refrigeration unit forced the evacuation of the Carmi Wal-Mart Friday morning. Around 10 am, a refrigerant line in a large freezer unit in the storage area of the store was severed, causing Freon to leak into the store.  The exact cause of the leak was not immediately known.

“Freon leaked through the double doors and into the public area of the store,” said Carmi Fire Chief Larry Hite. “Due to the large amount of the gas, we evacuated the store as a precaution.”  Chief Hite added that workers were able to isolate the leak and kill the power to the freezer unit. However, due to the size of the unit, it took quite some time for the Freon to stop spewing from the lines.

The leak caused the coolers for the dairy, meat and fresh vegetables to be down and food was removed from the coolers.

Firefighters remained on scene for about an hour and a half, ensuring the air quality within the store was safe.  Employees returned to the store after the all clear was given. No one was injured.