Local News

Overheated golf cart batteries prompt Durham apartment building evacuation

Posted October 21, 2019 10:44 p.m. EDT
Updated October 21, 2019 11:22 p.m. EDT

— Firefighters and a hazmat team were dispatched to a Durham apartment building late Monday to investigate high carbon monoxide readings and determined the culprit was overheated golf cart batteries.

Durham Fire Department Division Chief David Swain said reports of funny odors and respiratory problems prompted the response at the Lofts at Southside complex, at 703 S. Roxboro St., at about 10 p.m.

Forty people were forced to leave a building in the complex as firefighters went through the building to pinpoint the problem. They determined the golf cart batteries released some acid, which led to the smell that was reported and the high carbon monoxide readings, authorities said.

"Thank God trhey did come tell us to get out because anything could have happened," resident Mary Gore said. "We could have gone to sleep and maybe not woke up. We could've gotten sick. Anything could have happened."

Two residents were taken to a local hospital as a precaution after they reported feeling sick, Swain said.

Residents were allowed back into the building shortly after 11 p.m.

The evacuation came hours after first responders cleared homes and businesses within a block of a gas leak on Fayetteville Street south of downtown Durham.

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