St. Louis-area pet store evacuated after illness complaints

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(BRENTWOOD, Mo., AP) — Seven people and several animals were removed from a suburban St. Louis pet store over health concerns that were apparently caused by a refrigerant gas leak.
The PetSmart store in Brentwood was evacuated Thursday. Air conditioning repair crews were working on a failed system believed responsible.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) reports that seven people were taken to a hospital for evaluation. Assistant Fire Chief Terry Kurten says the air conditioning had stopped working before people began complaining of nausea, dizziness and a metallic taste about 11 a.m.
About 20 dogs, cats and guinea pigs were put on an air-conditioned bus in the parking lot. Birds and hamsters were left in the store because they are more difficult to manage, but were not considered to be in jeopardy.