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Propane Grill In Basement Causes High Readings of Carbon Monoxide

Engine 10 crew responded to a Carbon Monoxide call at Kennedy Heights.

Firefighters were called to 161 Kennedy Heights around 6:30 pm for a Carbon Monoxide alarm. When firefighters arrived, they found a family waiting outside. As fire crews entered the basement of Apartment 161, they heard a Carbon Monoxide alarm sounding. The crews Sensit gas monitor showed a Carbon Monoxide reading of 59 ppm. (See chart). The building was evacuated. Firefighters then entered the basement of Apartment 162, where their monitor read 85 ppm.

Ladder 1 assisted in ventilating the building. Readings were taken by the firefighters before the families could return to their homes. Carbon Monoxide levels in both basements had returned to 0-1 ppm (Apt 161) 0-4 ppm and dropping (Apt 162). No one was injured.

The cause of the high carbon monoxide readings was the result of an occupant in Apartment 162 cooking in the basement with a propane fueled grill.

* parts per million
City of Madison Fire Department Personnel Remind Everyone of the Following Safety Tips:
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very serious issue that kills many people every year. There are many potential sources that could cause you to be poisoned by carbon monoxide. Getting a carbon monoxide detector can help you to know if you are being subjected to the deadly gas. It is a law that Wisconsin residents install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home. However, many people ignore these safety devices and are still hurt by the gas.
A common source of carbon monoxide poisoning comes from grills. Propane and charcoal grills both put off carbon monoxide as a byproduct. When you do not properly ventilate the grill, it could turn into a deadly situation for those around it. Grills can put off a high amount of carbon monoxide and if you do not take the proper precautions, it could hurt everyone around. Make sure to keep your grills outside of enclosed areas and definitely out of the house.

For more information on Carbon Monoxide, click on this link:


  • Bernadette Galvez, 608-279-7168
  • 608-261-9844