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Butchertown Slaughterhouse Evacuation: Residents Complain About Sirens

An ammonia leak at the JBS plant in Butchertown yesterday caused the evacuation of about 700 workers. Firefighters urged residents in the neighborhood to stay indoors in the hours immediately after the leak.

About 80 pounds of anhydrous ammonia escaped from the plant at about 11:20 a.m Wednesday. High levels of ammonia can cause respiratory problems. Some Butchertown residents reported smelling ammonia after the leak. Louisville Fire and Rescue spokesperson Capt. Sal Melendez told the Courier-Journal that people might smell strong odors of the gas even if there are only trace amounts. Melendez said there were no levels of “harmful exposure” recorded outside the plant.

Sirens sounded a little more than an hour after the event, advising people nearby to stay indoors. Residents got the all clear at about 2:15pm. Some residents complained the fire department waited too long to sound the sirens. Spokesperson Melendez says officials activated the sirens after increasing the threat level of the leak.

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Local News

Probe Continues Into House Fire That Killed Five

Louisville fire officials are trying to determine the cause of weekend blaze that killed three children and two adults.

Four of the victims died Saturday; the fifth, a ten month old child, died Sunday.

The house fire at 1249 South Clay Street also injured four others.

Officials says the blaze broke out in a first-floor living room.

Louisville Fire and Rescue spokesperson Sal Melendez says investigators found one smoke detector on the second floor of the home.

Some three dozen firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.