Repairs begin to eliminate McDougald Terrace's carbon monoxide problems
Posted January 27, 2020 3:44 p.m. EST
Updated January 27, 2020 7:13 p.m. EST
Durham, N.C. — Work is underway to address carbon monoxide issues at McDougald Terrace, but the repairs won't happen quickly.
More than a dozen McDougald Terrace residents have been sent to area hospitals since late November with elevated levels of carbon monoxide.
About 270 of the 300-plus families who live in the complex have been staying at a dozen area hotels since early January so work crews could thoroughly check the gas-powered furnaces, water heaters and ovens in the units.
Sixty-one percent of the 346 McDougald Terrace units checked had at least one faulty appliance – 211 stoves, 38 furnaces and 35 water heaters – that will need to be repaired or replaced to eliminate the carbon monoxide issue.
Contractors began installing new ventilation systems and water heaters on Monday. Once that work is complete, the crews will also install new stoves, switching from gas to electric, but the apartments will first need to be rewired to allow for electric stoves.
The contractors also will handle mold remediation and pest extermination in the apartments, as well as any plumbing issues, officials have said.
Although McDougald Terrace is largely empty, Marlo Baldwin said he chose not to evacuate because he feared his apartment could get broken into if left vacant. He said he's glad to see repairs, but he said they won't fix all of the issues with the complex.
"Everything out here old," Baldwin said. "You’re probably still going to have to worry about something. This ain’t no walk in the park. Stuff out here ain’t brand new.
"They should have torn this down a long time ago. It is what it is," he added.
Durham Housing Authority officials have said McDougald Terrace residents will remain in hotels at least through Feb. 7 to ensure teh carbon monoxide problems are resolved and apartments are safe to return to.