East Side Building Evacuated for Hazmat Incident; No Injuries

February 27, 2013

City of Madison firefighters, including the department's Hazardous Incident team, were called to 1832 Wright St. shortly after 8:00 this morning for a report of a leaked chemical substance in the building.

The building houses Alfalight. The company designs and manufactures high-power diode lasers for the industrial, defense, and telecommunications markets.

The building's detection system was triggered, leading to concerns that arsine had been released. Arsine is a compound that is toxic, flammable and potentially explosive.

Eight employees were in the building at the time the release was first noted. They evacuated when the alarm sounded.

Occupants of a neighboring building were urged to stay in their building until the hazmat team could secure the area.

Team members entered the Alfalight building in full turnout gear to prevent exposure. Crews found the storage cylinders where chemicals are stored, shutting off all valves and preventing any potential leak. The building's ventilation system was used to clear the building of any residual gases leaked from the cylinders.

There were no reported injuries or illness as a result of the incident. All employees were able to return to work in the building following the incident.

Contact:
  • Lori Wirth, (608) 266-5947