Firefighters, Bronx residents evacuated from carbon monoxide trap after EMS crew’s meter goes off in building

Source: NY Daily News BY JOSEPH STEPANSKY, GINGER ADAMS OTIS

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Photo: SILive.com file

The firefighters were unaware they had walked into a building Monday that was engulfed in the odorless, colorless fumes — which can be deadly with enough exposure. It wasn’t until the EMS crew from Station 15 in Wakefield got on the scene that an alarm was sounded.

Firefighters responding to a call for a sick person in the Bronx Monday night nearly got caught in a carbon monoxide trap — but an EMS crew coming behind them averted disaster.

The firefighters were unaware they had walked into a building that was engulfed in the odorless, colorless fumes that can be deadly with enough exposure.

It wasn’t until the EMS crew from Station 15 in Wakefield got on the scene that an alarm was sounded.

Some 10 residents and the firefighters were evacuated from the building at E. 217th St.

Four people, including the initial patient who called 911 with difficulty breathing, were taken to Jacobi Hospital for treatment of minor injuries related to the CO exposure, the FDNY said.

The call that came in just before 1 a.m. was for a cardiac arrest, the FDNY said.

Firefighters were the first on the scene for the emergency call, and they rushed to tend to the patient, who was actually having an asthma attack.

But when EMS members from Station 15 stepped into the building, they immediately knew there was trouble.

The carbon monoxide meters the units carry with them began to go off, alerting them to the potential deadly danger.

The first readings showed a level of 600 parts CO over 1 million, which can cause nausea and headaches and can be deadly with extended exposure of three hours or more.

The EMS monitors will spike at 35 parts CO over 1 million.

As the crew worked to evacuate all the first responders and the building residents, their alarms kept climbing, sources said.

By the time the building was emptied, the monitors were registering 1000 parts over 1 million.

None of the firefighters or EMS workers were harmed.

The residents taken to Jacobi Hospital with CO-related injuries included a woman in her 40s and a man in his 60s, the FDNY said.

 

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