Carthage, NY – Most residents of a Carthage nursing home returned to the facility Sunday afternoon, after a carbon monoxide leak forced their evacuation Sunday morning.
Roughly 80 residents of the Carthage Center For Rehabilitation and Nursing on West Street were forced out in bitter cold Sunday morning by the leak.
The residents were moved from the Carthage Center to the community room of Carthage Area Hospital, next door.
The evacuation was prompted by the discovery of high levels of carbon monoxide inside the nursing home’s building at 7:15 AM.
One resident of the nursing home and one employee were admitted to Carthage Area Hospital for evaluation. A spokesperson for the hospital said they would likely remain overnight.
Carthage fire chief Brian Draper told 7 News a level of 2000 parts per million of carbon monoxide was initially detected in the nursing home boiler room, and 60-80 parts per million elsewhere in the building. Both levels are far from normal.
Initially, 35-40 residents who showed signs of carbon monoxide poisoning were moved, and employees of the nursing home who feared carbon monoxide poisoning also went to the hospital. Emergency officials then decided to evacuate the entire building.
The temperature at 9 AM was 3 degrees.
All the nursing home residents brought to Carthage Area Hospital were given blankets and breakfast.
Half a dozen fire departments were on scene, including Carthage, West Carthage and Great Bend. A dozen ambulances, including crews from Carthage, Black River, Indian River, Lewis County Search and Rescue, Guilfoyle were also on hand, as were Carthage police and state police.
National Grid was also called to the nursing home.
It appeared Sunday afternoon that the cause of the carbon monoxide problem had been found. The spokesperson for the Carthage facility said in an email that “National Grid, the local Fire Department and the facility maintenance staff located the issue and are presently working on a permanent solution.”
Draper, the fire chief, said he suspected a vent on the roof became plugged by Friday’s heavy snow.