CO sickens Durham apartment residents
Posted July 31, 2008 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2008 11:08 p.m. EDT
Durham, N.C. — 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.