Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department’s District 9 and Rutherford County Emergency Management Agency responded to a gas leak incident on Chaffin Place just before 9 o'clock Tuesday morning.
When crews arrived on scene, they discovered a tanker truck in Cracker Barrel’s overflow parking lot. The tanker was visibly leaking some type of gas.
According to Captain Joe Barrett, the gas was called argon, which is a liquid refrigerant. Crews located the driver of the tanker truck and he told them that a valve must have bounced open in transit. The driver was able to open another valve to relieve pressure and stop the leak.
Barrett said due to Department of Transportation recommendations, crews had to shut down traffic as far as 300 feet in all directions. “The bypass on Old Fort Parkway was shut down from Steak and Shake to Chaffin Place,” said Barrett. Crews also evacuated one side of the Motel 8 building as a precautionary measure.
Barrett added, “The refrigerant itself is not very harmful, but if it gets into a water system, is continuously inhaled, or comes into contact with skin, it can be very dangerous.”
Fortunately, no one was hurt and the gas did not enter any waterways. All roads have been restored to regular traffic flow and all hotel patrons were able to reenter the facility.
MFRD and EMA have cleared the scene.