More than 500 customers and store employees were rushed out of Costco by firefighters on Sunday afternoon after a refrigeration unit started leaking a harmful gas.
The store, at Great Canadian Way and Bridgeport Road, was quickly closed after the leak of Freon was discovered by an employee around 4:15 p.m., according to Richmond Fire-Rescue battalion chief Richard Barnes.
No one was injured in the process and the store closed for the night, before opening up again as normal Monday morning.
“What’s happened is one of the refrigeration units there, the compressor on top let go and all the Freon was emitted into the atmosphere,” Barnes said. “There were no casualties, everybody went home safe and we’ve got a refrigeration repair guy there now.”
Freon is toxic to people with heart conditions and can be flammable Barnes said. It is also heavier than oxygen and therefore can sit in an enclosed area like the Costco store he added.
With a file from the Vancouver Sun