Calgary

Carbon monoxide exposure prompts building evacuation in southwest Calgary

Nearly 100 people are back in their homes after a carbon monoxide scare late Tuesday night in Lower Mount Royal.

Gas was seeping into building from idling diesel trucks next to building, crews determine

Nearly 100 people are back in their homes after a carbon monoxide scare late Tuesday night in Lower Mount Royal.

Calgary firefighters were called for an odour complaint at around 11 p.m. at a four-storey building in the 900 block of 18th Avenue southwest, the city said in a release.

Crews detected high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) on the second floor.

"Firefighters immediately evacuated the entire building, close to 100 people, and began searching for the source of the CO and odour," the city said in a release.

Calgary Transit busses were brought in to shelter the residents, none of whom showed any symptoms of CO poisoning.

Fire crews believe the gas was coming from diesel trucks which were idling near one of the building's fresh-air intakes.

The building was ventilated and residents were allowed back in at about 2 a.m. Wednesday morning once readings of zero were recorded on each floor.

Acting Battalion Chief Brian Loschuk says it's lucky one of the residents smelled something.

"There's construction down there, probably heavy equipment and in all likelihood, if they parked too close, there's all kind of issues," he said.

Crews placed CO alarms in the building as an extra precaution and the residents were encouraged to call 911 if any of the alarms activated.

"To tell the truth, we don't have all the details,we're just assuming that's probably what happened. That's why we leave the monitors behind, because if we're not absolutely positive, we'll put those as a safety valve," Loschuk said. 

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