SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – Over a dozen people have been sent to the hospital after being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide.
Dennis Leger, aide to Springfield’s fire commissioner, says that around 10:30 a.m. Monday, firefighters were called to 17-19 Webster Street.
Crews using monitoring devices found that the levels of CO in the building were at 600 parts per million. Leger notes that buildings are usually evacuated at 35 parts per million.
Fourteen people were taken to an area hospital after complaining of feeling ill.
Animal control officers also removed some parakeets from the building and took them to safety.
Leger adds that firefighters found that carbon monoxide detectors were not working when they arrived, and upon inspection, found that the batteries had been installed backwards.
The cause of the CO leak appears to be the result of a malfunctioning furnace.
The building’s landlord is assisting displaced residents by putting them up in a local hotel.