Kingsport, TN – Wanda Morris likes to stay active. In fact, she’s an avid biker.
So, when Morris woke up with a nasty headache on Thursday morning, she couldn’t explain the feeling.
“I got up and took like four to five ibuprofen, laid back down for about an hour and it eased off for a little bit. I had no idea what was going on…that it was the poison because you can’t smell it,” said Morris.
Crews got a call at about 4:15 p.m. on Thursday about a sick person at the apartment complex along E. Charlemont and Watauga Streets.
Fire and emergency officials quickly realized they were dealing with a carbon monoxide poisoning. Seven people were taken to a nearby hospital. An additional ten were treated at the apartment comlex.
It took roughly two hours for the crews to fan out the toxic levels of carbon monoxide in the air.
Deputy chief Jim Carter says the source of the carbon monoxide turned out to be several gasoline-powered generators being used to to pump water out of the complex’s flooded basement.
“They were also running fans to help dry it out and the fans moved the carbon monoxide throughout the complex,” said Carter.
“They’ve been down there for a couple of days, so this has been going on for a couple of days,” resident Morris added.
Morris says she’s thankful for the crews’ quick response.
“They came and evacuated the building and then I put two and two together. My cat’s sick too…He’s not eating or anything,” said Morris.
Some of Morris’s neighbors were rushed to the hospital. She says she’s concerned after seeing them taken to the hospital.
“They were sick at their stomach, shortness of breath,” said Morris.