Firefighters and paramedics respond to an ammonia leak inside C and F Packing Company, located at 515 Park Avenue in Lake Villa, Friday morning. | Photo: Max Weingardt.

Nine employees were hospitalized after an ammonia leak at a food plant in Lake Villa that sent ten fire departments to the scene Friday morning.

The Lake Villa Fire Protection District responded around 11:20 a.m. Friday to C and F Packing Company, 515 Park Avenue in Lake Villa, for a report of an odor investigation.

Lake Villa Fire Chief Doug Slazes said fire crews arrived to find an ammonia leak inside the building, which is a food manufacturing plant.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to the second alarm level to bring at least nine ambulances to the scene.

Slazes said there were more than 125 workers inside the plant at the time of the incident.

Firefighters and paramedics respond to an ammonia leak inside C and F Packing Company, located at 515 Park Avenue in Lake Villa, Friday morning. | Photo: Max Weingardt.

Nine of the employees were treated by paramedics and transported to area hospitals including Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan and Northwestern Hospital in Lake Forest.

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The nine hospitalized employees had respiratory complaints. Their illness is not believed to be life-threatening.

Slazes said the employees inside the manufacturing plant had quickly isolated the leak as firefighters arrived.

It is unclear what caused the leak.

The Lake Villa Fire Protection District was assisted by firefighters and paramedics from Antioch, Gurnee, Round Lake, Fox Lake, McHenry, Spring Grove, Grayslake, Zion and Wauconda fire departments.