Residents of a Lakeville, Massachusetts, elderly housing facility were temporarily evacuated Saturday morning due to high carbon monoxide levels, the Lakeville Fire Department said.
Lakeville firefighters responded to a report of carbon monoxide alarm activation at 42 Lebaron Blvd shortly before 5 a.m. The location is a 56-unit apartment building that houses residents aged 55 and over.
Carbon monoxide levels inside the building were in excess of 100 parts per milligram, according to firefighters. Firefighters activated the fire alarm to evacuate the residents.
Residents were evacuated to the exterior of the apartment building. Despite the poor weather conditions, residents were able to stay dry from the heavy rain underneath an overhang. Some sheltered in their vehicles.
Seven ambulance crews tested 54 residents for carbon monoxide poisoning. None of the residents requested or required transport to the hospital for carbon monoxide exposure, firefighters said.
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The Lakeville Fire Department believes malfunctioning heating equipment caused the high levels of carbon monoxide. When crews disabled the equipment, carbon monoxide levels went down.
Lakeville firefighters received assistance from Berkley Fire, Freetown Fire, Middleborough Fire, Raynham Fire and Rochester Fire.
Once the air quality was back to a safe level, residents returned to their apartments.
“We were very fortunate today. The carbon monoxide detectors functioned as intended and alerted the occupants to presence of carbon monoxide. This should be a reminder to all of us of how important it is to have these devices in our homes. Especially with the winter months coming," said Lakeville Fire Chief Mike O'Brien.