Rochester, MN – A group of residents were told to evacuate to the Rochester Family Y Center in Downtown Rochester on Saturday after a carbon monoxide alarm went off in their building.
Rochester Fire Department said it noticed two large generators were running on the exterior of the building located on 728 First Avenue Southwest in Rochester and that construction work was also taking place. Firefighters found carbon monoxide in the atmosphere surrounding the building. When fire crews entered the building, carbon monoxide was also detected in all the five floors of the structure.
Crews, then, systematically evacuated the entire building and sent tenants to wait at the Rochester YMCA.Ventilation fans were used to force fresh air into the building while forcing the carbon monoxide out.
Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service was on scene as a precautionary measure although no injuries or illnesses were reported. Once ventilation was complete, the entire building was monitored again to verify there was no carbon monoxide present. Once confirmed, the tenants were allowed to reoccupy the complex.
The original call that came into dispatch was due to a tenant’s carbon monoxide detector sounding in their apartment. The presence of fully functioning carbon monoxide detectors are the only way to detect the colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is produced by gas-powered equipment. Symptoms of CO poisoning often mimic those of the common flu. With the cold season already here, it is imperative that you have carbon monoxide detectors and that they are functioning in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.