Carbon monoxide leak prompts evacuation at ByWard Market apartment building

OTTAWA — Ottawa Fire Services says a cracked heat exchanger on the roof of a five-storey apartment building in the ByWard Market was the source of a carbon monoxide leak.

Fire crews were called to 380 Cumberland Street at around 3:45 p.m. Saturday by Ottawa Community Housing, reporting a gasoline smell in one of their properties. A check of the building found high levels of carbon monoxide, which is odourless, in the hallways on several floors. 

Approximately 60 people had to evacuate the building, including some with mobility issues whom firefighters helped. They took shelter in an OC Transpo bus, OFS public information officer Nick DeFazio told CTV News Ottawa.

An Enbridge team was called to fix the heat exchanger, though OFS says the heater in the common area wouldn’t be working Saturday night. Firefighters ventilated the building and allowed residents to return after ensuring that the gas had disspated. 

DeFazio also said that no one had reported any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can include headaches, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and even loss of consciousness. 

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