CARMEL, Ind. (November 21, 2013) – A Carmel townhome building was evacuated and several people were hospitalized after a carbon monoxide scare late Wednesday night.
Around 11:15 p.m., fire crews arrived at the Legacy Towns and Flats off 146th Street for a report of a sick person, according to the Carmel Fire Department.
While there, they discovered high levels of carbon monoxide in an apartment building and evacuated the 13 residents inside the seven units. Every apartment unit had elevated levels of CO from 200 to almost 1000 parts per million (ppm). Ten minutes of exposure to 1000 ppm of CO could be fatal.
The CFD said firefighters then found an SUV with its ignition on and an empty gas tank sitting in a closed garage directly below the units.
Six of the residents went to the hospital, which seven people were checked for carbon monoxide poisoning and refused further medical treatment.
“We are very pleased that our new CO detectors performed wonderfully and allowed our crews to quickly and accurately assess the situation and take immediate action to prevent loss of life,” said Carmel Fire Marshall Bruce Knott.
The owner of the SUV is in the hospital and investigators are waiting until the person is released to figure out why the vehicle was left running in the closed garage.
“Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses,” according to a posting on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.”
More information about how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning can be found online here.