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CO sickens Durham apartment residents

Posted July 31, 2008

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— Durham Police found 15 people suffering the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning at an apartment building on Wadesboro Street Thursday afternoon.

Fire, emergency medical workers and police responded to Lynnhaven Apartments, located at 923 Wadesboro St., just after 4 p.m. and cleared the building’s six apartments.

A carbon monoxide detector alerted residents to the odorless, colorless and toxic gas.

Durham Fire Department Chief Bill Atkins said if the gas had gone unnoticed, it could have been deadly.

Neighbors said people in apartment “C” were some of the most sick. Sharon Whiley saw people stumbling out of the apartment before passing out and vomiting.

Atkins said the air inside apartment "C" was thick with the poisonous gas.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency the average home measures 10 to 15 parts per million. Firefighters said apartment “C” measured 400 parts per million on Thursday.

“That is extremely high,” Atkins said.

Atkins said emergency workers eliminated the gas supply to the entire building.

According to reports, several people were treated on the scene and seven were taken to the hospital. They are expected to recover.

Residents were kept out of the building until the air was tested.

“It was pretty scary for everybody,” Wiley said.

Carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel is burned, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

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  • scorekeep Aug 1, 2008

    Great reporting. How about letting us know the exact cause of the leak?

  • White Eagle Aug 1, 2008

    Tragedy averted but what was the actual cause of the high levels of CO? I know it comes from combustion but the article didn't say if it was from a leaking water heater or if someone was cooking on a grill in their apartment. Anyone know?

  • mramorak Aug 1, 2008

    oh boy,hide this from the lawsuit police!