APPLETON — The Appleton Fire Department responded Thursday morning to a report of a chemical gas release at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton.

According to the hospital, at 9 a.m., the hospital implemented its emergency response procedures after evidence of a chemical gas release was discovered in the northwest portion of the hospital.

“We are working with the Appleton Fire Department to manage the situation, which includes supporting the safety of our patients and associates. We will provide additional information later this morning,” read the statement.

Because the Emergency Department is in close proximity to the affected area, Gold Cross Ambulance Services transferred 13 patients to other local hospitals, according to a statement.

There was limited exposure to staff members, who were immediately treated for minor symptoms and released.

No serious injuries were reported.

The fire department remediated the situation and managed the air quality.

Evacuation and diversion measures ended at 11:15 a.m. and normal operations resumed.

“We would like to thank our associates, local authorities and first responders for their professionalism in handling this event,” said Michael Bergmann, Regional Hospital President, Fox Valley, Ascension Wisconsin. “Our highest priority is the safety and well-being of our associates and the patients and communities we are privileged to serve.”

By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.