Nashville, TN — The Nashville Fire Department evacuated six people from their homes after becoming sick from high carbon monoxide levels on Saturday morning.
NFD initially suspected the water heater was not venting correctly due to a build-up of ice from the recent storm. Still, Piedmont gas and Metro Housing officials found the carbon monoxide was coming from the heating unit itself.
Metro Development and Housing Agency Director of communications Jamie Berry said she believes vent pipe from the heating unit caused the carbon monoxide to seep into the home. Authorities called out an on-site technician along with Piedmont Natural Gas.
News 4 wanted to know if fire and carbon monoxide detectors were inside the home. MDHA said they are responsible for having detectors on the property.
“The maintenance technician says that when he entered the unit that he noticed that the smoke-carbon monoxide detectors had been disabled and removed from their typical space,” Berry said.
Following the leak, Berry said the staff “put in new fire and carbon monoxide detectors.” NFD said they could vent the area, bringing the carbon monoxide levels down from 600 ppm to livable conditions.
Edgehill Homes received new combo detectors two to three years ago. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is considered a silent killer. District 9 Fire Chief Chris Downing shared some critical things everyone should know.
“You want to make sure that if you do have any type of gas-operated system that it’s ventilated correctly. Even during this time, by ice then that could cause the CO to back up into the house,” Downing said.
Nashville Fire reminds everyone to make sure their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working correctly and regularly check their batteries.
“If you do have one and it triggers, call the fire department, and we can send a ladder truck or a hazmat team, and they’ll come out and monitor your house for you at no charge,” Downing said. “We just do it to make sure the levels aren’t high.”
“Right now, our focus is on the family, and you know our hope and prayers are that they are okay and that they make a full recovery,” Berry said.