MFD Called Twice to Apartment Building for Carbon Monoxide Problems

  • Location

    2900 block Ashford Lane
    Madison, WI 53713
  • Incident Date

    Dispatch: Mar. 22, 2024 - 8:51am
    Arrival: Mar. 22, 2024 - 8:54am
  • Incident Type

    Carbon Monoxide

43.033267, -89.4250576

This map displays an approximate location.

Incident Details

A furnace at an apartment complex on Ashford Lane was placed out of service following two separate carbon monoxide incidents at the property.

On Friday morning, March 22, Engine Co. 4 was called to 2906 Ashford Lane for a carbon monoxide alarm activation. Building maintenance was on scene as firefighters monitored the air and confirmed the presence of carbon monoxide, at levels up to 1100 parts per million. Residents were immediately evacuated, and firefighters ventilated the building. MGE was also asked to respond. 

Firefighters and building maintenance found that exhaust tubing had fallen off the building’s main heat boiler, causing carbon monoxide to spill into the building. Engine 4 turned off electrical power and gas service to the boiler as they ventilated the building. MGE assisted with monitoring the building’s common areas and private apartment units until the building was safe to reoccupy.

Two days later (9:42 a.m. Sunday, March 24), Ladder Co. 6 was called back to the address for carbon monoxide alarms sounding again. Firefighters’ entry to the building was delayed as they attempted to locate a key holder for the building, but their handheld air monitor did detect elevated carbon monoxide levels in the building’s main entryway.

Eventually, a resident opened the door to let firefighters into the building. First-floor carbon monoxide readings clocked in around 50 parts per million and climbing. Firefighters donned their self-contained breathing apparatus and proceeded to the basement, where CO levels were around 250 ppm and climbing. In the furnace room, the levels increased to over 350 parts per million.

Building maintenance arrived and advised Ladder 6’s crew about the prior call involving this furnace and the repairs made since then. Firefighters again turned off the furnace and evacuated residents from the building. An electric fan was brought inside to push out the carbon monoxide. Engine 9 responded to provide an additional fan to aid the ventilation process. MGE also returned to the building and ultimately placed a red tag on the furnace to take it out of service completely until it could be replaced or definitively repaired.

Occupants were invited back inside after all areas of the building were cleared of carbon monoxide, and firefighters educated residents on the importance of evacuating a building as soon as they hear a carbon monoxide alarm sounding. 

In both cases, there were no complaints of carbon monoxide-related illness and EMS was not required on scene.

Learn more about about carbon monoxide, safety and prevention tips, and symptoms of carbon monoxide-related illness.


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