TX – It’s an odorless, colorless killer and on Thursday it was lurking at a day care and an apartment complex. But thanks to a carbon monoxide detector, everyone escaped safely.
Around 9:45 Thursday morning, a carbon monoxide detector indicated high levels in the area. “We’ve got carbon monoxide units throughout the building and when they beep you get out, they beeped and they got the kids out,” said Gail Aleman, LCAA Director.
Minutes later the fire department arrived and evacuated the complex at 50th and Chicago, which included an E-Z Mart, Briteway Cleaners, a daycare and 18 apartments. “I just came back and they were all in my apartment and everywhere so,” said resident Brian George.
“They was just buzzing and I thought maybe it was a maintenance guy so I was like ‘Ok I’m coming’ and the next thing I know is I see a big firefighter and he says he has to come in because we have CO in the building,” Patricia Walker, a resident said.
According to fire officials a boiler in the center of the complex had a broken vent, and a deteriorated top that was leaking carbon monoxide throughout the complex. All residents and businesses were instructed to open their doors and windows for circulation.
The kids from the daycare walked down to the park, and EMS checked them out.
Within two hours of the original call workers brought in a boiler to replace the old one to avoid any other problems or needed repairs for the future.
In this instance having a carbon monoxide detector was a life saver. “During the winter that’s when we have most of the fires, and most are caused by using some type of heating type of equipment which is fossil fuels but during the summer we use those also with our water heaters,” says Marlin Hamilton, Assistant Fire Chief.
So fire officials say if your home or business isn’t strictly electric, you need a carbon monoxide detector.
Carbon monoxide detectors are not the same as smoke detectors, but you can get a dual unit, a CO detector costs between $30 and $70.
The Fire Marshall’s office says the LCAA daycare should be commended for their effective and efficient escape plan. Three people were transported to a hospital from the scene, but they were all treated and released.