Hazmat workers in Rochester on July 12 / photo by Matt LaComb for BeaverCountian.com

As of 1:00 p.m. – July 13

Rochester Fire Chief Michael Mamone tells BeaverCountian.com all shelter in place orders have been lifted. All roads are now reopened, with the exception of the New York Avenue ramp that leads down toward the area of the bowling alley.

“We did not have a rekindle today, there was a second fire in a 20 yard roll-off dumpster that wasn’t a part of the original incident, but was in the exact same area,” Mamone said.

Mamone said the situation is now under control and officials will be meeting soon on a plan moving forward.

“As of right now we are taking all precautions with DEP and contractors to make sure another release does not occur. DEP has a site safety plan from the remediation work they were doing … We think that plan is working right now.”

Mamone praised his men, who he said are very tired after a long night’s work. He expects them to be able to get some sleep soon. Mamone also praised the work of other crews from throughout the county.

“We are using a lot of mutual aid from other towns.”

Mamone said there are still stores of hazardous materials on site, with chlorine continuing to be the substance of greatest concern. Although he does not anticipate another release, he said it remains a possibility.

“I don’t expect there to be fire crews down there much longer, but I expect there to be contractors and folks responsible for the building there moving forward. They have been there since last night and they are the ones who first saw the fire and called it in.”

No injuries were reported as a result of the incidents.

Crews continue to monitor the air quality to assure the safety of the public.


As of 12:00 noon – July 13

Rochester Fire Chief Michael Mamone updates the media, confirms the situation is now back under control.

“Right now we are planning for the future to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”


As of 11:00 a.m. – July 13

The 5 mile shelter in place order has been reduced to 1 mile.


As of 10:00 a.m. – July 13

Shelter in place order has been reissued after a second chemical release.

“I am told that the fire restarted, it is worse than last night,” Commissioner Sandie Egley tells BeaverCountian.com

“Stay away from the Rochester area. If you are in a 5 mile radius of that area, shelter in place. Close all windows and shut off any appliances such as window air conditioners that draw in air from the outside.”

Hazmat fire in Rochester rekindled / submitted photo by Nick Angle
Hazmat fire in Rochester rekindled / submitted photo by Nick Angle

As of 5:00 a.m. – July 13

The shelter in place has been LIFTED according to Beaver County EMS.

Press given a followup briefing. Officials say that crews are still on scene but they believe they now have the fire under control. They will continue to monitor the situation.

BeaverCountian.com contributor Matthew LaComb reports from the staging area that the sky now looks “much less polluted and colored” than earlier.

We have processed some additional photos from last night’s staging area in Rochester:

Hazmat response staging area in Rochester / photo by Matthew LaComb for BeaverCountian.com
Hazmat response staging area in Rochester / photo by Matthew LaComb for BeaverCountian.com
Hazmat response staging area in Rochester / photo by Matthew LaComb for BeaverCountian.com
Hazmat response staging area in Rochester / photo by Matthew LaComb for BeaverCountian.com

As of 4:00 a.m. – July 13

Press conference by Rochester Fire Chief Michael Mamone.

“Residents should be concerned,” said Mamone.

He said residents in the 5 mile radius centered near Beaver Valley Bowl in Rochester should continue to shelter in place, but air tests currently show no hazards outside of the immediate area of the fire.

“Residents are going to smell this odor, but we are not picking up anything on the air monitors.”


As of 3:00 a.m. – July 13

Commissioner Sandie Egley confirms the cause of the hazardous gas is chlorine pellets that are in the building and says a fire boat may need to be brought in from Pittsburgh.

A press conference is expected to begin momentarily, we will bring you additional updates as they become available.

BeaverCountian.com’s Matt LaComb is reporting that the “cloud is getting bigger” and the “smell is much stronger” at the staging area in Rochester.

Commissioner Sandie Egley and EMS officials inside of the mobile command center / submitted photo
Commissioner Sandie Egley updating the media / photo by Matt LaComb for BeaverCountian.com

As of 2:30 a.m. – July 13

BeaverCountian.com contributor Matthew LaComb reports additional EMS personnel from around the county have arrived at the staging area over the past half hour.

LaComb reports Commissioner Sandie Egley is at the mobile command center with EMS and is working on getting additional information out to the press.

We will keep you posted as more information becomes available.

First responders from around the county gathering / photo by Matt LaComb for BeaverCountian.com
First responders from around the county gathering / photo by Matt LaComb for BeaverCountian.com

As of 2:00 a.m. – July 13

We are in continued communication with county officials and have a reporter on-scene at the incident command center.

We are told officials are working on a press release.

County officials advise to continue sheltering in place with windows closed if you are inside of the 5 mile zone (centering near the Beaver Valley Bowl in Rochester). Any fans, air conditioners, or other appliances that move air from the outside into your home should be turned off according to EMS.


As Of 1:10 a.m. – July 13

“There is a chemical incident in Rochester, the hazmat team and DEP are on scene,” Deputy Emergency Services Director Frank Parris tells BeaverCountian.com.

“DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) is recommending a 5 mile SHELTER IN PLACE centering near the Beaver Valley Bowl. There is a company that was working in the area with an abandoned building (Beaver Alkali) to remediate it, we are trying to get ahold of them to see what we’re dealing with.”

Fire crews are using hoses to mist the air to help bring down the cloud of gas, according to EMS.

“It is thick and stinging and it is hard to breath,” Commissioner Sandie Egley tells BeaverCountian.com.


As Of 11:50 p.m. – July 12

The Beaver County Emergency Services Agency has issued a SHELTER IN PLACE notice for the greater Rochester area due to the leak of hazardous gas.

BeaverCountian.com contributor Matthew LaComb is reporting a large plume of colored smoke over Rochester, with emergency services personnel in hazmat suits on scene.

Commissioner Sandie Egley tells BeaverCountian.com there is a hazardous gas leak involving materials which could include chlorine gas and has confirmed that Beaver County hazmat units have been dispatched.

BeaverCountian.com is in communication with Emergency Services who are warning all residents in the greater Rochester area to “shut off all types of incoming air into the house due to this plume, shut the windows, shut off air conditioners, house in place.”

“The chemical plume is moving from Rochester towards Bridgewater / New Brighton / Patterson,” according to EMS.

The Department of Environmental Protection is on scene.

Beaver County Emergency Services Command / photo by Matthew LaComb

BeaverCountian.com contributor Matthew LaComb contributed to this report

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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John Q Taxpayer
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John Q Taxpayer

God bless the fire fighters and Commissioner Egley.

Gray Squirrel
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Gray Squirrel

Thank You Sandie for being there, Beaver Countian , the best news source in the Tri State area .

Raven
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Raven

Good exercise as a mini trial run for the Cracker Plant.

Dave Sko
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Dave Sko

Ya what are the repercussions of this chlorine fire and these chemicals that are spewing into the air does anybody know are they going to tell us the truth how poisonous it really is probably not until it’s too late very sad day.

marshamoore
Member
marshamoore

The building is owned, for less than a week, by the DEP. The DEP is investigating this. Surely they researched previous ownership. Someone had to know those pellets were there for 8 years, which is dangerous by itself.

marshamoore
Member
marshamoore

Well-done to commissioner Edgley for being on the spot. I wish she had been wearing a mask tho.

Raven
Member
Raven

The area of chemical threat was up to five miles from the fire. The projected blast area is up to five miles from the cracker plant, and up to 20 miles of fallout threat. I hope someone is taking notes and planning for that eventuality, if it ever comes. It will take more than the current emergency evacuation plans.

sezme
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sezme

raven, next time shell holds one of those ” community meetings”. you outa go. it’s all PR about planting flowers. ask a question about bophal india and the chance of a local repeat, and you will get more smoke blown up your ass than answers. john paul, PLEASE attend too!