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Brewery tours cancelled Friday after leak, power outage

By GARY LIBERATORE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A power outage that left some residents in West Utica without Power Thursday night still has the F.X. Matt Brewing Company in the dark.

Company spokesperson Meghan Fraser says a leak in a pipe Thursday night led to a cleaning agent called sodium hydroxide to spill onto a power panel, causing the outage.

Power in West Utica was restored within an hour Thursday evening to everyone except the brewery, which is still without it.

Fraser says the outage has caused production at the brewery to be stopped and also caused the cancellation of brewery tours.

She says the Brewery Shop still has power and remains open, but she isn't sure when the power to the rest of the brewery will be back on. Until then, production will continue to be halted and tours will remain canceled.

Utica firefighters were called to the back side of the brewery on Edwards St. around 10:30 Thursday night.

Utica Assistant Fire Chief Michael Wusik says the sodium hydroxide leaked from the third floor, all the way down to the first floor, "It was eating away, eating away at some of the paint on the stairs, on the hand rails, it's not like it was burning anything, it was just disintegrating paint product."

Wusik says some light vapors from the sodium hydroxide could be smelled throughout the brewery Thursday night, so everyone was evacuated.

He says the sodium hydroxide was already diluted, but firefighters diluted even more, allowing it to enter the drainage system.

Paul Vannort, who lives on Edwards St. says the sight of al the firetrucks immediately brought him back to the huge fire at the brewery in May of 2008.

He says around 10:30, he heard what he called a 'sizzle' and then his power went out, then a short time later he noticed large white flashes coming from the upper level of the brewery across the street.

We have a call into National Grid to learn more about when the power may be back on fro the brewery, but are still waiting for a call back.

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