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Life Threatening Carbon Monoxide Found

Tour Commander, 509.625.7100

Monday, December 16, 2019 at 2:42 p.m.

At 7:44 AM, the Spokane Fire Department (SFD) was dispatched to investigate suspicion of Carbon Monoxide (CO) present in the second floor of a commercial mixed-use building (apartment and commercial) located at 8 South Magnolia. 

Firefighters identified a dangerous fire atmosphere with very high concentrations of Carbon Monoxide on the second floor of the structure. As a result, the building was evacuated and ventilated. From the eight residents, A total of two adults and one child were treated at a local hospital for CO poisoning. SFD Deputy Fire Marshals are still on-scene working with the remaining tenants to help them relocate to a safe space. 

The investigation revealed that the power to the entire building was shut off days ago due to concerns of poor wiring and a threat of fire. This situation left the occupants without a method to heat their units. The residents used three generators that were placed on a roof near the unit's windows to power portable space heaters and other electronic devices. Extension cords were run throughout the second floor to accommodate the needs of the tenants. The exhaust from the generators vented back into the cracked windows, causing a rapidly increasing level of dangerous CO to accumulate. 

The seriousness of this situation cannot be overstated. We were exceptionally fortunate that everyone survived this morning and very thankful to Sacred Heart Hospital and specifically Dr. Edminster, for his clinical aptitude and awareness.