Springfield, MA – A carbon monoxide leak forced the evacuation of an Indian Orchard apartment building Wednesday night.
Springield Fire Commissoner B.J. Calvi told 22News they evacuated the 32 1/2 Oak Street Apartment building around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday after finding dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide.
He said the carbon monoxide was leaking from a malfunctioning furnace in the basement.
The appliance was shut off and residents were allowed back inside the building after carbon monoxide levels returned to a safe state.
Calvi told 22News they see more furnaces working improperly during the winter, when heating season is in full swing.
“Carbon monoxide is a byproduct of combustion so when you get incomplete combustion or afurnace that is not functioning properly it will produce an excess of carbon monoxide and build up in the home,” said Calvi.
Ten people die every year in the U.S. from unintentional exposure to carbon monoxide from furnaces and other heating products.
Calvi advises checking your carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working properly and that the batteries are up to date.
It it recommended to have a detector installed within 10 feet of every bedroom, and one on every floor.