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30 evacuated, 4 hospitalized in Calgary apartment carbon monoxide leak

Dozens of people were forced out of their homes and four sent to hospital in Calgary Friday when a carbon monoxide alarm went off in an apartment building in the north end of the city.

Calgary Fire Department public information officer Carol Henke told Global News that the call to 911 came in around 12:15 p.m. when the alarm went off in a multi-storey building in the 6800 block of Centre Street North, in the city’s Huntington Hills neighbourhood.

The emergency response included CFD, AHS EMS and ATCO.

Henke said 30 people were evacuated to the fire hall next door, with Calgary Transit providing buses for temporary warming places.

Two children and two adults were sent to the Foothills Hospital and Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Click to play video: 'Calgary fire reminding citizens about the dangers of carbon monoxide as cold settles in'

Calgary fire reminding citizens about the dangers of carbon monoxide as cold settles in

Henke said carbon monoxide levels were detected at levels up to 1,000 parts per million, which she characterized as “very dangerous,” adding that it would take little time for someone exposed to those concentrations to feel ill.

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Known as the “silent killer,” carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Breathing in too much CO can cause loss of unconsciousness, coma or even death.

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Nearly two-thirds of CO-related incidents in Canada in the past 12 years came during cold weather months. According to Health Canada, carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for 300 deaths and 200 hospitalizations a year.

Children and the elderly are most susceptible, Henke said.

The CFD hazardous materials (hazmat) team were also on the scene determining the source of the leak.

More to come…

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