OKC Firefighters Evacuate Hotel For High Levels Of Carbon Monoxide

Sunday, January 6th 2013, 10:21 pm
By: News 9

Firefighters had to evacuate guests at the Holiday Inn hotel near Southwest 15th Street and Meridian, Sunday night, after discovering elevated levels of carbon monoxide throughout the building.

Guests said they heard an alarm go off and firefighter confirmed a carbon-monoxide detecting system alerted the guests.

"We can in and the alarm went off," said Derwin Jackson, who was staying at the hotel with a co-worker. "They just told us to come out."

Jackson, along with dozens of other guests, were forced to stay in the lobby, which firefighters deemed safe for people to be in, while they investigated the source of the carbon monoxide.

"A gasoline engine that was being operated too close to an open exit door on the first floor, next to a stairway, the fumes were coming in, going up the stairs, filling the building with CO," explained OCFD Acting Chief Phil Burgess.

His crews went door-to-door making sure all of the hotel guests got out of the danger zone and avoided being over-exposed to the deadly gas. Firefighters ventilated the hotel immediately upon arrival by opening up doors and roof hatches.

"We'll use our electric positive fans, we'll set them up at the door and we'll pressurize the whole hotel and it will force the air out," said Burgess.

While this incident happened at a hotel, Burgess issued a warning to everyone since CO leaks happen many times inside homes. All too often there are no carbon-monoxide detectors installed.

"If you have gas, gas-operated machines, heaters, dryers, ovens, they can cause things like that, so it is important to have CO detectors around because it is the silent killer," he said.

Burgess added that during the winter they see an increase in carbon monoxide incidents with more people using heating devices.

Luckily nobody suffered any serious injuries during the hotel incident Sunday night.