Orlando, FL – A mistake by a construction company forced dozens of Orange County tenants out of their homes, due to a dangerous gas leak.
An Orlando family of four was treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at a Doctor Phillips Hospital Thursday morning, authorities said.
The family members drove themselves to the hospital after feeling ill in their apartment on Walden Circle, near Vineland Avenue.
When doctors determined they were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, they alerted the Orlando Fire Department.
Fire officials went to the building at Walden Palm Condominiums and determined that construction crews had likely left a generator on, which was producing the gas.
“(Carbon) monoxide is colorless and odorless, so there’s no indication that it’s in the environment unless you have a carbon monoxide detector that would alert you to it,” Lt. Derek Schaumann, of the city of Orlando Fire Department said.
Investigators said the building is under renovation.
Police said six other people from the building were treated at the scene or taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for treatment.
When firefighters arrived, they heard a loud noise upstairs, so they forced their way into a unit and found someone had collapsed from the poisoning.
Firefighters told residents to stay out of the apartments for 12 hours so the building could air out, but neighbors told Eyewitness News some were still going inside the homes.
Firefighters used a device to check the tenants carbon monoxide levels and said some residents had levels as high as 22 percent in their blood.
“Because structures aren’t air tight, that (carbon) monoxide can actually move through walls and dry wall and affect multiple apartments,” Schaumann said.
Authorities said the injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening.
One resident, who asked not to be identified, said management didn’t give him any answers, and he’s glad firefighters woke him up.
Im glad they woke me up, banging on the door, yelling, Fire department. I rather have that than wake up in the hospital, he said.
Eyewitness News tried several times to call the office of the apartment complex, but a staff member hung up each time.
Eyewitness News is also working to find out if carbon monoxide detectors are inside the buildings or are required.