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St. Charles Meijer reopens after coolant leak

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 11:11 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 1:08 p.m. CDT
(Sandy Bressner – sbressner@shawmedia.com)
The Meijer store at 855 S. Randall Road, St. Charles, remains evacuated this morning.

ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Meijer briefly closed Wednesday, as shoppers and employees were evacuated due to a coolant leak.

Despite the yellow caution tape strung across some doors and clusters of employees gathered around the entrances, shoppers continued to pull into the parking lot, only to be turned away.

The store, 855 S. Randall Road, reopened by early afternoon.

St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet said there were no injuries in connection with the leak, which was a result of maintenance work and affected a cooler for refrigerated product.

Meijer followed its evacuation procedures, Schelstreet said, describing it as proper conduct when dealing with potential hazardous chemicals.

He said the leaking chemical has a "very low" hazard rating.

By late morning, fire department units were being released from the scene with the hope that the store could resume business shortly, Schelstreet said. He noted ventilation had become more of a focus.

Crews were being diligent about saving product in the affected area, Schelstreet said.

Shopper Bobbi Cheatham of St. Charles stood among the employees at the store's south entrance, waiting to return to her cart, which she left by the produce.

"I was just about done shopping," she said, noting it made more sense to stay than to drive to her east-side home only to return again. "It's packed. It's to the top."

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