Bridgewater, NJ – Twenty employees at Baker & Taylor at 1120 Route 22 East were treated for carbon monoxide exposure Friday afternoon.
As of 3 p.m., three employees of the book processing center had been taken to local hospitals for treatment. The other employees are being treated at a triage center by local emergency service personnel.
About a dozen employees, many wrapped in pink blankets, were inside the triage center, where emergency personnel were conducting medical evaluations.
Martinsville EMT Sara Rall checked the blood pressure of one employee while another employee was being wheeled out on a gurney into one of the ambulances.
About a dozen ambulances from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Manville First Aid, Hillsborough Rescue, Branchburg Rescue, Bradley Gardens Rescue , Somerville Rescue, Martinsville, Bridgewater, Liberty Corner, Montgomery, Peapack Gladstone, Basking Ridge and North Branch were lined up outside of the building where the triage center had been set up.
Police responded to the building a little after 2 p.m. on a report of an employee feeling ill.
When police arrived, several other employees began complaining of feeling ill, as well, police said.
The building was evacuated and township volunteer firefighters responded to the scene. Several employees leaving the company said they were told to evacuate.
Police said a flue in the building’s ventilation system had broken and remained in the closed position, preventing carbon monoxide from being vented to the outside.
Two women in the parking lot waiting to report to work on the second shift said they were told there were high levels of carbon monoxide and they could not go in. The women said the company, which has several large buildings on the Route 22 site, ships books and DVDs.