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Update: Ammonia leak contained at Centennial Ice Arena in Billings

Posted at 8:16 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 16:40:34-04

Update 2:30 p.m.

The Billings Fire Department has wrapped up its work at the Centennial Ice Arena and began clearing the scene around 2 p.m.

The crew did a walk through of the building and monitored ammonia levels through out. All were below 25 ppm and the building was turned back over to arena staff.

Next it will be up to arena staff to look into any issues with its system to prevent future problems.

Update 8:50 p.m.

The ammonia leak inside of Centennial Ice Arena in Billings Heights has been isolated. There is no threat to the public, however, Two Moon Park is still closed along with the bike path near the ice arena. Bench Blvd is open to regular traffic.

The Billings Fire Department’s HAZMAT team entered the building and located the source of the ammonia leak, shut off valves and pumps and safely exited the building. The next step is to re-enter the ice arena to determine if and where there are any hazardous levels of ammonia. If hazardous levels are located, they will ventilate the building toward the bike path, which is why the bike path remains closed.

Ammonia is a toxic industrial chemical, and if exposed, a person will experience severe skin and lung irritation.

If the building does need ventilation, the level of ammonia that is pushed out of the building would be neutralized once outside and it would not be enough to harm anyone beyond the bike path.

Batallion Chief Jason Lyon said the amount of ammonia used inside of the ice arena is relatively small and is stored in a closed system.

No one was inside of the ice arena when its alarm system alerted dispatchers of the issue.

The Billings Fire Department evacuated Two Moon Park in Billings Heights Thursday night after an ammonia leak was discovered at nearby Centennial Ice Arena.

The Billings Fire Department HAZMAT team is being deployed and has determined the source of the leak, according to city spokesperson Victoria Hill.

Bench Boulevard remains open, according to Hill.

The bike path near the ice arena has been shut down as it passes under the arena.

A building alarm alerted the fire department of an issue at the arena.

Ammonia is used at the arena to create ice and keep it cold.

Extra firefighters have been called in to assist with the situation and cover shifts across the city.