A building under construction in Calgary’s East Village was evacuated this morning due to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO).
Calgary’ fire crews arrived at the unfinished building just after 7 am, where they found an unconscious man in the work site’s office, located in the parkade of the building.
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A release from the Calgary Fire Department states that the man may have been in the office for around an hour.
According to the release, carbon monoxide is produced when burning fuels like wood, coal, gas, or propane, and can become dangerous to humans if not properly ventilated.
The gas is colourless, odourless, and poisonous, being about to overcome a person quickly before they can become aware of the danger.
CO poisoning can result in mental confusion, vomiting, loss of coordination and consciousness, and, in severe cases, death.
25 people were immediately evacuated from the site, with five being taken to hospital. Fire crews found the CO levels to be as high as 400 parts per million in the office where emergency personnel found the unconscious man. It is suspected that the CO had been coming from a heater in that office, though that has yet to be confirmed by the CFD.
Occupational Health and Safety are currently investigating the injuries caused by the incident.
The Fire Department encourages Calgarians to have a working CO alarm on every floor of their house and to test the alarms on a monthly basis.