Crowd greets Piazza's reopening Friday afternoon

Fire Department responds to smoke, closes store as a precautionary measure

A crowd of nearly 30 people pushed through the front door of Piazza's Market in Palo Alto when it was reopened at 3 p.m. Friday.

The store had been closed due to an early-morning major leak of refrigerant from the store's cooling system.

Dennis McClellan, director of the market at 3932 Middlefield Road for the past 23 years, said about 20 market employees were evacuated when the leak was discovered this morning.

Palo Alto Fire Department officials inspected produce to check for residue from the leak but found none. The Santa Clara County Environmental Health Department ordered the market closed until 3 p.m. to make sure the refrigerators were at the correct temperature, McClellan said.

At 3:30 p.m. the checkout lines were jammed with loyal shoppers who had awaited the market's reopening.

The department received a call about smoke at the market at about 6:19 a.m., according to Battalion Chief Niles Broussard. Firefighters arrived at the store, at 3922 Middlefield Road, and traced the leak to a mechanical room at the back of the store. A refrigerator technician quickly shut down the leak, fire officials reported.

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Like this comment
Posted by Russell
a resident of Los Altos
on Oct 29, 2010 at 11:38 am

Not a big deal, but other stores WERE affected. They asked customers at Peet's to evacuate.

Like this comment
Posted by sheri
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm

"Palo Alto Fire Department officials suspected produce..." LOL. What, were the leeks thought to have caused the leak? I presume you meant to say "inspected". Online spell-checkers just don't replace humans...

Like this comment
Posted by saleha
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 30, 2010 at 12:46 am

I shopped there for 15 years and ever since they have the new manager there (a guy) I refuse to go there...I think I spent about $300 plus per month there...arrogant presumptious service.

Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Oct 30, 2010 at 8:45 am

A "crowd" of 30 people? How many were employees coming to work?

Like this comment
Posted by lolo
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2010 at 7:06 am

Hi saleha, I remember that guy, I would avoid him! Happy to report that they got rid of him, it's safe to go back.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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