Calgary fire crews evacuate Royal Oak complex due to carbon monoxide
At approximately 7:25 Wednesday morning, Calgary fire crews were called to the 8800 block of Royal Birch BV. for the activation of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. When firefighters arrived on scene and used their own detectors throughout the building, they found carbon monoxide levels ranging from 50 parts per million (ppm) in some suites, and up to 400 ppm just outside the boiler room.
Fire crews immediately used the fire alarm system to evacuate the building and went door to door to ensure everybody had safely exited. ATCO Gas was called to the scene and Calgary Transit was requested to provide several transit busses to provide temporary shelter for evacuees.
Less than 50 people were temporarily displaced as many had already left for the day. Firefighters commenced with ventilation of the building and with ATCO, investigated the cause of the carbon monoxide build-up. Fresh air intake units on the roof of the building were found to be obstructed by ice. The ice was cleared and ventilation of the building was continued. The fresh air intakes were specifically for the heating system used to heat the hallways of the building, not the individual suites which are heated by hot water. It was determined that carbon monoxide had entered the suites from the hallway.
No injuries were reported as a result of this incident and all residents were allowed back in once CO levels were found to be zero.
The Calgary Fire Department would like to remind citizens of the importance of having working carbon monoxide alarms on every level of your home. They are the most important warning system to alert you to a potentially dangerous situation. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and non-irritating gas which which can be deadly. For more information on CO, please visit www.calgary.ca/fire