Madison, WI 53705
“Something like this happened about a year ago,” said a McDonald’s shift manager as he and his fellow employees waited outside. A carbon monoxide alarm had activated inside the store.
When Engine Company 9 arrived to take a closer look, the shift manager advised the issue may be related to a carbon dioxide dispenser, used for soda fountains, down in the basement.
Firefighters suited up and went inside wearing their self-contained breathing apparatuses. Their Sensit air monitor indicated oxygen displacement in the basement. While there, Engine 9 also noticed the carbon dioxide tank was frosted over, and there was a pump running continuously near the boxes of soda syrup connected to the CO2 tank.
Firefighters went back outside to explain their findings. By this time, a store manager was on scene, and he said the carbon dioxide leak downstairs could be the result of an empty box of soda syrup. In fact, that was the problem last year.
The store manager described to Engine 9 the necessary steps to take to replace the soda syrup box. Firefighters once again masked up, went back into the basement, and replaced the empty box with a fresh supply of soda syrup.
The pump that had been running silenced. As firefighters ventilated the basement with a fan, their air monitor indicated that oxygen levels were returning to normal. The frost on the CO2 tank began to melt. Soon the employees were invited to return to the restaurant.
Engine 9 suggested the restaurant keep the doors open this morning to continue ventilation. Restaurant management said they’d have someone come take a look at the CO2 tank to ensure it’s working properly.
In the meantime, McDonald’s patrons looking to enjoy a cool, refreshing soda today should be able to do so.
Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)