Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) - Crews from the Lexington County Fire Service’s Hazmat team, firefighters from the Chapin Fire Station, and a Lexington County EMS crew were on the scene of a Carbon Dioxide leak from a drink machine Tuesday morning at the Hardee’s in Chapin. This is located at 1425 Chapin Road.
The hazmat crew has used air monitors to check the atmosphere after the leak was detected and found low oxygen levels within the building as a result of the leak. The building has been evacuated and closed while crews ventilate the gas and await repair personnel. At approximately 9:30 a.m., the fire service was leaving the building in the hands of management. They have made the decision to leave the restaurant closed until the equipment can be fixed.
Carbon Dioxide gives soda its bubbles, and in restaurants it is held in large cylinders and then mixed at the machine. It has also been used in fire extinguishers in the past. It is critical to the breathing process of a person; however elevated levels can cause shortness of breath and even loss of consciousness.