The Douglas Fire Department responded to a hazmat call Sunday night on Sulphur Springs Road and Highway 80.
Shortly before 8 p.m. a 911 call was made about an ammonia smell in the area.
The DFD, Douglas Police Department and other law enforcement agencies from Douglas and Cochise County, were on scene in a matter of minutes blocking off the area where the odor was coming from.
An investigation into the odor revealed anhydrous ammonia was coming from a semi tanker trailer that was parked in the area next to three homes, two of which were occupied at the time. The residences were temporarily evacuated. According to Douglas Fire Chief Kevin Lomeli, there were no medical complaints from anyone inside those homes due to the ammonia smell.
According to a Google search, “anhydrous ammonia is a pungent gas with suffocating fumes. Symptoms can include difficulty breathing, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. Exposure to high concentrations can lead to death.”
Emergency crews made access to the semi and through paper work inside the truck, eventually located the driver who was out of town at the time. He informed them that he had emptied the tanker on Saturday and was in the process of returning to Douglas. Upon his return he met with emergency crews where it was decided along with advice of the distributing facility, the semi would be moved to a location outside of Douglas until Monday when the container could be inspected more thoroughly.
The area that had been closed due to the hazmat situation reopened around 10:30 p.m.