Carbon monoxide at church sends 2 to hospital

| December 8, 2009

Two women were taken to hospital after carbon monoxide seeped into an east-end church Tuesday.

Firefighters were called to St. Matthew's Anglican church on Wellington Street East after a carbon monoxide alarm sounded at about 10:30 a.m.

A faulty vent for the church's boiler caused "fairly high" readings of the poisonous gas in the lower-level room, said platoon chief Terry Dubois of Sault Ste. Marie Fire Services.

The concentration of carbon monoxide in that room was strong enough to cause nausea after 60 minutes or unconsciousness after several hours.

Smaller traces of carbon monoxide were recorded in the church sanctuary and near an entrance.

An estimated six to eight people were in the church's kitchen preparing turkeys for a noon-time meal.

Two females were given oxygen by firefighters. They were taken to Sault Area Hospital for observation. Both complained of headaches.

Firefighters remained at the church for about two-and-a-half hours. Most of that time was spent ventilating the building.

A technician was contacted to repair the boiler.

While pleased the alarm sounded, Dubois suggested it should be replaced because it is old. Most detectors are good for eight years.

"Minor readings" of carbon monoxide were found at a home in the 200 block of Panoramic Drive earlier Tuesday morning.

A hot water tank was faulty.

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Category: Public Health

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