Incline Village, NV- A local apartment complex is enacting aggressive safety upgrades after experiencing close call involving a recent case of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A faulty heat exchange apparatus in a furnace in one unit of Tahoe Incline Apartments, a local apartment complex, was the cause of the of carbon monoxide-related incident in late December, Fire Marshall Tom Smith said last week.
Smith, of the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, said three residents were tested for poisoning, with one individual testing positive for levels of carbon monoxide that Smith described as pretty toxic.
There was someone sleeping in the mechanical room, which is not meant to be used as a bedroom, Smith said. The three individuals were treated for exposure at the local hospital and were released the same day.
Smith described the incident as minor, saying the level of poisoning remained low for all three victims.
The residents of the unit began to feel dizzy, and called 911.
They did the right thing, Smith said.
Those living in the unit were briefly evacuated from the unit while the air cleared; they were not relocated and were allowed to return to the premises once the danger was identified, Smith.
The furnace has since been replaced, said Brad Koch, property manager for Tahoe Incline Apartments, and a complex-wide furnace replacement program is now in place.
We plan to replace 10 furnaces in the building per year, starting with the oldest, Koch said.
There are 76 units in Tahoe Incline Apartments, a building which, according to Koch’s best guess, was built in the mid-1970s. Koch estimated the furnace replacement program will cost about $20,000 per year.
Smith praised Koch’s cooperation and urged residents to invest in carbon monoxide detectors.
While it is not required by Nevada state law it is a pretty good idea to have one in your home, Smith said.