New information on Spfld. carbon monoxide leak

Fire in a manhole outside of building caused gas to leak into building vents

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Residents living in an apartment building on Byers Street in downtown Springfield were forced to evacuate their homes late Thursday night, because of a carbon monoxide leak.

Springfield Fire spokesman Dennis Leger told 22News, around 10 o’clock Thursday night, there was a fire in a manhole outside of the Rainville building at 32 Byers Street.

The smoldering wires caused carbon monoxide gas to leak through the buildings vents, and set off the carbon monoxide detectors. 42 residents were evacuated while the building was ventilated.

Building Maintenance Technician Alan Baillargeon told 22News, “They are all pretty devastated that this happened so late at night and they all had to evacuate. There’s power in the building but we are using a generator and it’s going to be there for a while.”

The residents were allowed back in after about an hour.

Carbon monoxide leaks are risky because without a carbon monoxide detector, you have no way of knowing there is a leak. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that can become deadly if you breathe it in for too long.

State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan warns that if you are exposed to carbon monoxide you will likely feel nauseous, dizzy, and have a headache, symptoms that may feel similar to having the flu.

Since March of 2006, carbon monoxide detectors are required in nearly every residence in Massachusetts.

The current law also requires landlords to install and maintain CO alarms in every unit that has a source of carbon monoxide.

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