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Lafayette Square building evacuated over chemical tank leak

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was originally published July 7, 2014 at 11:33 a.m. Updated July 7, 2014 at 12:50 p.m.

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The Little Rock Fire Department responds Monday, July 7, 2014, to the Lafayette Square building.

A 10-story downtown Little Rock building was evacuated and more than a dozen fire companies were called in after a rooftop chemical tank began leaking Monday morning.

It happened shortly before 11 a.m. at the Lafayette Square building at Sixth and Louisiana streets.

Little Rock Fire Department Capt. Randy Hickmon said a tank holding a gaseous chemical used in the central air system to clear mold and mildew began leaking, which sent a chlorine smell into parts of the building.

The substance is an "inhalation irritant," Hickmon said, though no injuries were reported.

Crews blocked the intersection of Sixth and Louisiana while hazmat firefighters took air samples to make sure the fumes had dissipated. The building remained evacuated and roads blocked until about 12:15 p.m., when fire crews left the scene and residents and office workers were allowed back in.

Hickmon said about 20 companies responded because of the building's large size.

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