Watertown, WI – A carbon monoxide scare at a Marquardt Village apartment on Monday afternoon

caused 40 residents and staff members to be evacuated for almost two hours.

According to fire Chief Henry Butts, the Watertown Fire Department received

a call for an activated fire alarm at the Anna Nitschmann Apartments on

Monday at 2:03 p.m. While firefighters were in the building they also

noticed the carbon monoxide alarm was activated, Butts said.

Firefighters used gas detectors and found a high concentration of carbon

monoxide throughout the structure, Butts said. The detectors found that 180

parts per million of carbon monoxide was in the basement, 89 parts per

million was in the first floor and 40 parts per million was in the second


Assistant fire Chief Mike Quint said 35 parts per million is the maximum

allowable concentration for continuous exposure in any eight-hour period

according to Occupational Safety and Health Administration law. He added 100

parts per million or greater is a potentially lethal level.

The high carbon monoxide levels were caused by a project in the basement

involving gasoline powered pressure washers and a ventilation fan that

malfunctioned, Butts said.



When firefighters arrived to the scene, most of the residents were evacuated

from the building because of the activated fire alarm, which was also caused

by the pressure washers, Butts said. Other residents were found in the

designated safe areas in the building, he added.

Quint said the evacuations went smoothly because Marquardt keeps a list of

which residents are inside the building and which are gone.

Two school buses provided by DH Enterprises and several Marquardt vehicles

took the residents to the Milo Loppnow Apartments while firefighters

ventilated the building, Butts said. The residents were allowed to return to

their apartments shortly before 4 p.m.

No injuries were reported.