Rome, NY – Walmart was closed and evacuated for several hours this morning after an overnight floor treatment set off the carbon monoxide detectors, according to city fire officials.
The alarm was raised shortly before 7:30 a.m. today, leading to a full evacuation of the large box store on Rome-Taberg Road, authorities said.
Walmart was expected to reopen shortly after noon, according to officials.
Fire officials said the build-up of potentially deadly carbon monoxide was caused by using propane-powered machinery inside of the west Rome department store.
They’re doing some treatments to the concrete floor, explained Deputy Fire Chief Timothy W. Reilly this morning when asked about the incident.
Contractors inside the store Sunday night and early this morning were using a propane-powered machine to strip the tiles on the floor, the chief stated.
The fumes from the propane-powered machine set off the carbon monoxide detectors inside of the Walmart store, leading to the response from Rome firefighters.
It’s going to cause carbon monoxide fumes, Reilly said of the use of the propane-powered machine.
The building was evacuated of all customers and employees while fire crews and National Grid worked to clear the carbon monoxide out of the building, the deputy fire chief added.
We need to introduce fresh air into the building and push the bad air out, Reilly explained.
Because of the size of the store, Reilly said they used the rooftop ventilation units to pump in fresh air.
Fire officials said no one was injured or harmed.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can be fatal when breathed in.
The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (often referred to as CO for short) include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.
CO symptoms are often described as flu-like often leading people to dismiss the