2022 Abbott Incident

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News Date: 
April 16, 2022

The Abbott Incident that began shortly after 7:15pm on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, has transitioned to monitoring and clean-up phases of the incident. The City of Salinas and Salinas Fire Department (SFD) are thankful to the community for adhering to emergency advisories and to the multiple agencies from across Monterey County and from the State who provided aid throughout this incident.

SFD arrived on scene within 3 minutes to 1225 Abbott Street known as the Taylor Farms Processing Facility in response to a fire alarm. As the fire progressed to a 4-alarm fire, mutual aid from across the County was requested. Over 22 fire units in the County responded, as well as the Salinas Police Department, Monterey County Health Department, Environmental Protection Agency, California Highway Patrol, PG&E, and State and local Offices of Emergency Services.  

There was approximately 35,000 pounds of ammonia on the property, which created concern for the potential of a hazmat situation and explosion.

“The fire progressed to the point that it posed a significant risk for a potential explosion of ammonia that is located in the plant. For that reason, we pulled back our units to a safe area and began evacuation notices for the immediate area around the plant,” said Sam Klemek, Deputy Fire Chief and Incident Commander. 

Salinas Fire Chief Michele Vaughn shared that “Anhydrous ammonia is moisture seeking. So that mean it’s going to seek your eyes, nose, and throat, and that’s where we see chemical burns from ammonia.” Chief Vaughn added, “It is also very explosive, so with that amount of ammonia (35,000 pounds), that could have been devastating to this community.

The immediate area was evacuated in the early morning of April 13th, approximately a 1-mile radius from the site. Shelter-in-place advisories were issued for the surrounding areas out of an abundance of caution.

The Hazmat Team arrived on scene to evaluate potential hazards. There was a moderate leak. However, once that leak had been secured just after 1:00pm on April 14th, Deputy Fire Chief Klemek announced the lifting of all evacuation and shelter-in-place advisories.

An archive of the incident website can be found at: tinyurl.com/2022abbott