2015-10-30 / Front Page

Apartment fills with carbon monoxide

By TIM GULLA
Ledger Staff Writer


(c) depositphotos.com/kgtohbu (c) depositphotos.com/kgtohbu At least three people were taken for medical treatment following a Thursday morning incident in which carbon monoxide filled a Beltline Courts apartment.

Gaffney Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano said city firefighters were called to the 100 block of Beltline Road at 3:29 a.m. regarding a report of carbon monoxide. A Gaffney police officer, who was in the area, arrived before firefighters and paramedics and reportedly pulled one person from the apartment before First Responders got to the scene. Three people ultimately were transported for treatment, according to the fire department’s report.

It was believed the carbon monoxide might have come from a natural gas appliance, possibly a water heater. Piedmont Natural Gas was called to the scene and cut off the gas, Caggiano said, and the matter was turned over to the Gaffney Housing Authority.

Caggiano said there were eight people in the apartment where the carbon monoxide was detected. He said firefighters used monitoring equipment to document 147 parts per million of carbon monoxide in the impacted apartment and 50 parts per million in a neighboring apartment. Based on published guidelines, Caggiano said, concentrations above 70 parts per million can lead to symptoms such as headache, fatigue and nausea.

Sustained concentrations above 150 to 200 parts per million can lead to unconsciousness, disorientation and death, according to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission.

The gas is colorless and odorless and stems from the incomplete burning of fuel, such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane and natural gas.

A call placed to the Gaffney Housing Authority office on Beltline Road for additional information about the cause of the carbon monoxide and what arrangements it was able to make for the impacted family was not returned. The executive director of the housing authority was unavailable Thursday.

Caggiano said anyone who has a gas appliance should have a working carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is heavier than air so carbon monoxide detectors are typically mounted low and many plug directly into a wall outlet.

If your carbon monoxide detector is activated, Caggiano said you should immediately leave the residence and call 9-1-1. The fire department has specialized monitoring equipment it uses to test the air.

DEATH IN THE AIR

n Gaffney Fire Chief Jamie Caggiano said firefighters used monitoring equipment to document 147 parts per million of carbon monoxide in the impacted apartment and 50 parts per million in a neighboring apartment. n Based on published guidelines, Caggiano said, concentrations above 70 parts per million can lead to symptoms such as headache, fatigue and nausea. n Sustained concentrations above 150 to 200 parts per million can lead to unconsciousness, disorientation and death.

Return to top

Print Edition

Click here for digital edition
2015-10-30 digital edition

Special Sections

Poll

Sen. Harvey Peeler (R-Gaffney) sponsored a resolution Dec. 7 for the Senate Committee on Interstate Cooperation to study the potential impact of not recognizing Daylight Savings Time. Do you think DST should be abolished?