Ashton, WY – There’s something in the air at Ashtons only grocery store. Six employees at Daves Jubilee got sick Friday morning. Two passed out and all went to Madison Memorial for treatment.
Emergency crews say carbon monoxide is to blame. The levels inside the store were eight times higher than healthy air.
They know for sure it came from a floor buffer machine that was waxing the store before opening time Friday morning, but crews believe there is also another source.
The store and connected gas station were shut down all day Friday. Six hours after the poisoning happened, emergency crews were still wearing gas masks inside because carbon monoxide levels were still above normal.
The employees all started feeling lightheaded and dizzy just before 8 a.m. Some of them, particularly the man driving the floor buffer machine, got red and flushed in the face. Doctors say this is a normal symptom since carbon monoxide deprives the blood stream of oxygen.
According to the owner of Dave’s Jubilee, the six employees had levels of carbon monoxide ranging from 10 to 28 percent, meaning 10 to 28 percent of their hemoglobin had carbon monoxide attached to it.
Two of the employees passed out. All of them were treated with high levels of oxygen at the hospital and later released. According to Keith Richey, emergency management coordinator in Fremont County, one thing saved these employees from even more poisoning and possibly death.
Carbon monoxide leaks are fairly common, however one to the extent is unusual what saved them is they had a carbon monoxide detector that went off and everyone was having problems, Richey said.
He wants to remind everyone to get a carbon monoxide detector. They’re only $20 to $60 a pop, and they can save lives since carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless and invisible.
The health department says that carbon monoxide poisoning does not effect food, so the produce, meat and bakery items are still edible.