Update, 3:25pm: Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong called Berkeleyside to say that the Shattuck Safeway remains closed after a leak in the store’s refrigiration system caused smoke-like vapor to escape and raised the alarm. The fire crew has called on environmental health staff to help them determine what type of refrigeration fluid is leaking. “No-one will be allowed back in the store for now because we want to make sure the fluid is not hazardous,” said Chief Dong. The store’s refrigeration system is an older model, Chief Dong said, and some of the fluids used in older models can be toxic.
Berkeley Fire Department is currently on the scene at Safeway at Shattuck and Rose in north Berkeley after a report of smoke coming from the store.
Crews found a bad compressor creating smoke from the parking garage, according to Deputy Fire Chief Gil Dong and Sgt Mary Kusmiss of the Berkeley Police Department. Crews are breaking down hose lines now.
There are no smoke or fire issues inside the store and Safeway will be back in business shortly.
According to citizen reporter Roland Saekow, at roughly 2:35pm there was a total of four firetrucks (including a big ladder truck) at the store, an ambulance as well as police. A helicopter hovering over the area had many Berkeleysiders wondering about the nature of the incident.
As a result of the incident there were slight traffic delays along Henry and Rose.