Carbon Monoxide Leak Traced To Hidden Furnace

Incident Type
Carbon Monoxide
Friday, December 8, 2017 - 2:08am
Friday, December 8, 2017 - 2:11am
East Bluff
Madison, WI 53703

Firefighters responded to a northside residence to investigate why a carbon monoxide detector was sounding. On arrival, Engine Company 10 met the resident outside her apartment. She initially believed the detector was faulty despite having just been replaced.

When firefighters entered the apartment, their air monitors showed there was indeed a carbon monoxide issue. Initial readings clocked in at 30 parts per million and levels were rising. A search of the first floor and basement revealed only electrical appliances, including an electrical water heater. Engine 10 proceeded upstairs, where CO levels were approximately 50 parts per million.

The crew eventually found a removable wall inside a closet. There they discovered a gas furnace feeding the residence. Engine 10 shut off the gas to the furnace and also turned off the thermostat. They opened windows and began ventilating to clear the air. After 15 minutes, CO levels were back down to 0 ppm.

Building maintenance was notified of the issue, and MGE responded to look at the gas line. Occupants were advised to wait another 10-15 minutes before closing the windows.

One person reported experiencing a headache at the time of the CO leak. Symptoms cleared up once they got some fresh air.

Posted 12/08/2017 - 7:31am

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)