Iwilei Costco reopens after evacuation due to reported gas leak

Local News

FILE – Customers attempt to leave the Iwilei Costco parking lot after a reported gas leak, Honolulu, Hawaii, July 31, 2021. (Lawrence-Francis Ruiz photo)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Costco in Iwilei was evacuated around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, after a reported gas leak in one of the store’s refrigerators, according to the Honolulu Fire Department (HFD).

HFD said the refrigerator was reportedly leaking Freon — a non-combustible gas that is used for cooling purposes. A 911 call had come in at 1:40 p.m. to report the chemical leak on Alakawa Street.

Officials reported that the leak was stopped by a technician vendor before HFD personnel arrived at the scene. Costco had also been evacuated before firefighters arrived, HFD said.

Hazardous materials technicians from HFD’s Hazmat 1 used equipment and tested atmospheric readings near where the leak occurred and near the store’s entrance, according to HFD, and the readings came back negative.

HFD determined it was safe to release the scene back to Costco’s management at 2:34 p.m. and said the technician vendor remained on the scene to complete repairs of the area where the leak occurred.

No injuries were reported from the incident, HFD said, and administrative officials from Iwilei Costco confirmed with KHON2 that the store was reopened as of 3 p.m. on Saturday.

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