NY, NY – The New York Times – High carbon monoxide levels forced the evacuation of a New York art show as it was preparing for its opening yesterday, the Fire Department said.
The Scope show, one of three major exhibitions held during the one of the biggest art weekends in New York City, was closed last night because of fire code violations that firefighters noticed. But organizers said they hoped to reopen by today, the first official day of a three-day exhibition featuring paintings, sculptures and performance pieces from 80 artists.
Alexis Hubshman, president of Scope, said he suspected the high levels of carbon monoxide came from a forklift truck that had been removing crates at the art space, at 11th Avenue and West 46th Street. The Fire Department said that it received a call about the carbon monoxide levels at 4:30 p.m., though Mr. Hubshman said he did not know who made the call. Firefighters evacuated about 150 people.
While the odorless carbon monoxide dissipated, the inspectors raised other concerns about the art space, including the width of the doors and the placement of the exit signs. Mr. Hubshman said he hoped to get a temporary certificate of occupancy to allow the show to open.