Carthage nursing home had no carbon monoxide detector in boiler room, fire chief says

Carthage nursing home had no carbon monoxide detector in boiler room, fire chief says
A nursing home in Carthage was evacuated Sunday morning in bitterly cold weather because of high levels of carbon monoxide. (Source: 7 News photo by Jeff Cole)

CARTHAGE, N.Y. (WWNY) - There was no carbon monoxide detector in the boiler room at the Carthage Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, according to the Carthage fire chief.

That’s where a major CO leak started Sunday morning, evacuating employees and 80 residents.

Chief Brian Draper says while there was no detector in the basement, there were 5 CO detectors in the hallways where residents live. However, those alarms did not activate Sunday either.

Draper confirms firefighters later tested those alarms and they did work. He's unsure why they didn't work Sunday.

Draper is confident the carbon monoxide levels were dangerously high because multiple fire departments took readings. The basement reading was 2,000 parts per million, Draper says. Anything above 70 can be dangerous, according the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

A spokesperson for the center tells 7 News that since the situation "the facility immediately put in place functioning carbon monoxide detectors in the basement boiler area prior to the residents returning to the facility on Sunday."

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health says it’s aware of the situation, but cannot comment on any matter which may be the subject of an ongoing investigation.

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