Two children were treated and released at Johnson Memorial Hospital in
Tests showed that the levels of the toxic gas the two children inhaled did
not pose a serious health threat, according to Police Chief Carl Sferrazza.
A carbon monoxide detector sounded an alarm at the childcare at 2:15 p.m.,
right about the time of the children’s afternoon nap, according to Shaker
Pines Fire Chief Charles Macsata.
“We were very concerned because of the ages of the children and the fact
that they had been napping – we weren’t sure how much they were exposed to,”
So, Macsata said, fire officials and other emergency responders evacuated
the building, which contained about 80 children ranging from infants to
preteens, and 10 to 15 staff members, and directed them to wait in a
designated area as parents arrived.
“We gave them water and juice while they waited,” Macsata said.
Then, one child complained of a headache and another was drowsy, so they
were taken to the hospital. Fire officials asked the parents and children to
stay until they got word back from the hospital, as a way to tell if the
other children should be given aid as well, Macsata said.
Keeping the kids together would make their transport to the hospital easier,
At around 4:45 p.m., authorities got word that the two children were OK, and
they passed the good news on to anxious parents.
Macsata says the incident highlights the importance of having a working
carbon monoxide detector in homes and businesses.
“If an oil burner fired incorrectly, you will smell it. With gas, though,
it’s odorless, and carbon monoxide is odorless. We recommend that whether
you use oil or gas, get a carbon monoxide detector. We firefighters all have
them in our homes,” he said.