GROVELAND – Substances found at a Salem Street building and considered hazardous enough to alert local and state authorities Sunday night were deemed not a danger to the public a day later, according to the town's fire department. 

Specialized state and regional units made up of firefighters and technicians responded to 748 Salem St. for what was reported as a possible gas leak around 6:45 p.m. Sunday after the discovery of containers of a crystallized substance and a flammable substance.

Interim Fire Chief Joe Santapaola said Monday the substances, known as surfactants, are added to make suds for detergents. But because the substance was identified at the time, officials treated them as if they could be hazardous, he said. 

Officials also found the highly flammable solvent tetrahydrofuran on the same property. 

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection officials and Santapaola ordered the property owner to properly dispose of the surfactants at a chemical facility by the end of Monday.

 As for the tetrahydrofuran, the property owner was ordered to return it to the manufacturer by the end of the week because storage on residential property isn't allowed, according to Santapaola.

"With assistance from the Massachusetts DEP and a Hazardous Materials Response Team from the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, we were able to resolve this situation swiftly," Santapaola said. "Teamwork and collaboration between state agencies and the Groveland police and fire department allowed for this investigation to proceed smoothly, and I'd like to thank everyone who helped investigate and respond."

Traffic on Salem Street was temporarily limited to a single lane, and local public safety officials determined there was no threat to the public or a need to evacuate residents.

Groveland police and firefighters remained there until about 10 p.m., along with a hazardous materials response team from the Department of Fire Services.

"We'd like to thank residents for their patience and cooperation as we responded to and investigated this situation," Groveland police Chief Jeffrey Gillen said. "Incidents involving hazardous materials are incredibly complex, and fortunately there was no danger to the public as a result of this situation."

Staff writer Dave Rogers can be reached at drogers@newburyportnews.com. Follow him on Twitter @drogers41008.

Recommended for you