UPDATED: 7:46 p.m. No one was injured and there was no evacuation necessary after the early afternoon incident at L&M Hospital." />

DEEP: Ammonia, bleach likely cause of fumes at Lawrence & Memorial

Firefighter Bob Ladd, right, of the Submarine Base Fire Department prepares to enter Lawrence & Memorial Hospital Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011.
Firefighter Bob Ladd, right, of the Submarine Base Fire Department prepares to enter Lawrence & Memorial Hospital Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011.

New London — The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said the chemical reaction reported at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital this afternoon was likely the result of an ammonia and bleach mixture, according to hospital spokesman Michael O’Farrell.

A hazardous materials team and the city fire department responded to the call, but O’Farrell said no one was injured and no evacuation was necessary. Most of the personnel who responded to the scene left by about 2:40 p.m.

O’Farrell said workers were renovating a walk-in cooler and used bleach to try to clean up an odor under a layer of flooring in the work area. Once the bleach was applied, O’Farrell said a “haze” rose from the floor and the work crew alerted hospital staff, who in turn called the New London Fire Department.

Six fire vehicles and a Submarine Base Fire Department hazmat truck set up stage in the hospital’s “Shipping and Receiving” dock on the Ocean Avenue side of the building, across from Sander Street. A small area was cordoned off with yellow fire tape.

O’Farrell said ammonia, used in previous cleanings, may have seeped into the flooring and caused the reaction when the bleach was applied.

“There was no food exposure, no patient exposure and there was no harm to anyone involved,” O’Farrell said.

The cooler, he said, was empty because of the renovations and the “space was sealed off and fully contained.”

O’Farrell said the hazmat team conducted air samples and ventilated the area to ensure it was safe.

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