High-risk CO levels found at Calgary apartment building during ‘coincidence’ emergency response
|globalnews.ca 14 Jan 2020 at 17:50|
Calgary firefighters potentially saved the lives of about 150 people on Tuesday while responding to an urgent medical call for a resident of a southwest highrise.
When firefighters got inside the man’s home, though, they were quickly faced with a second serious emergency — the crew’s portable carbon monoxide monitor went off and was showing levels of 183 parts per million.
The man was wheeled out of his unit in a wheelchair and taken to the lobby, where EMS took over care and brought him to the hospital.
Firefighters then immediately activated the fire alarm system and started evacuating everyone in the building, telling them over the intercom that there was a CO emergency.
The nearly 150 evacuees kept warm in Calgary Transit buses while fire crews swept every floor, helping evacuate the building and assessing the air quality.
The Calgary Fire Department said CO levels as high as 400 parts per million were found in some parts of the building.
“Coincidence, serendipitous, and good fortune our crews responded and their alarms activated to indicate there was a problem,” CFD spokesperson Carol Henke said Tuesday afternoon.
The sudden evacuation caught many of the residents off guard.
“I was sleeping, I don’t know,” evacuee Gilka Albuquerque said. “I just wake up, my husband call me, I just get panic.”
Emergency officials on the scene of a carbon monoxide leak in Calgary on Tuesday.
“We heard the alarm and thought it was a tow truck backing up outside our apartment but [my partner] got freaked out and we grabbed our clothes and ran out of the building,” said resident Aidan Tarini.