Freon leak causes evacuation of El Pomar building

Caitlyn Dieckmann, Devon Martinez and Annika Schmidt 

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     A Freon leak led to the evacuation of the University Center and Kraemer Family Library at 2 p.m. on Thursday. The gas leak occurred after a Freon line was accidentally disconnected during air conditioning servicing, according to UCCS Police.  

     According to a campus alert, the “hazardous materials leak” originated on the first floor of the library. The incident triggered alarms throughout the whole building. 

     The library and University Center are expected to remain closed for at least one hour according to UCCS Police. 

     Colorado Springs Fire Department and the Hazardous Materials Response Team unit responded to the leak. Air quality testing will be conducted throughout the building, according to UCCS Police Officer Matt Brown. 

     Medical personnel are also present on the scene. 

     Freon is a gas used in cooling appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators. Freon exposure is mildly harmful, according to healthline. Symptoms can include irritation of the lungs and stomach, dizziness or shortness of breath. 

     Brown said there is not currently an indication of when the building will reopen. Since the leak originated in the library, it is expected to be closed longer than the rest of the building. 

    For the latest information, refer to UCCS Alerts and updates from UCCS Police. 

The Colorado Springs fire department responding to the leak. Photo by Devon Martinez.