Carbon monoxide leak at Regina seniors residence

There were some tense moments Tuesday morning after a carbon monoxide leak at Regina Village — a seniors housing facility on the city's west side.

Building vented quickly, no injuries reported

Fire crews were called to Regina Village seniors residence at 4:50 a.m. CST Tuesday when security and maintenance workers noticed a number of carbon monoxide detectors were going off. (Stefani Langenegger (CBC))

A carbon monoxide (CO) leak at a Regina seniors housing facility had fire crews racing to Regina Village on the city's west side early Tuesday morning.

The alarm call came at 4:50 a.m. CST after security and maintenance workers noticed elevated levels of carbon monoxide on all three floors of the seniors complex.

Dave Burdeniuk, with the government's natural gas supplier, SaskEnergy, said fire crews were able to get to the scene first.

"Immediately [they] noticed that the CO readings were about 20 parts per million," Burdeniuk said. "Once you get into the double digits it can be serious."

In this case, Burdeniuk said fire crews quickly vented the building and CO levels were down to zero when SaskEnergy officials arrived.

In fact, the carbon monoxide levels were as high as 29-33 ppm when a keen-eyed security guard first noticed them, according to Debbie Sinnett, executive director of long term care with the Reqina Qu'Appelle Health Region.

Sinnett praised the security officer's prompt response for contacting building maintenance, who in turn shut down a piece of equipment and called the fire department.

The cause of the leak was a rooftop heat exchanger unit connected to the building's hallways, Sinnett said.

She said maintenance workers are continuing to assess the situation and work on repairs.

Carbon monoxide was implicated in the deaths of three elderly residents at a seniors care home in Humboldt five years ago.

In Tuesday's incident, the RQHR maintains there was no danger to residents, and no evacuation was necessary. 

Each suite is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector set to go off if levels reach 70 ppm.

Sinnett said residents of the independent living suites were notified of the incident around 8:30 a.m.