Hilton Garden Inn Evacuated over Carbon Monoxide Leak

by Ella FAIRCHILD on February 16, 2010

Up to 11 people were taken to hospitals in the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area after Hilton Garden Inn, located in the downtown area, was evacuated on Monday morning. It had been discovered that there was a carbon monoxide leak that created far higher levels of what is considered safe to breathe.

Firefighters were called at about 9:40am to the hotel after getting a report that one guest was unresponsive. Steve Achilles, the assistant fire chief, said that the woman was red in the face, and her eyes were bloodshot, which are symptoms of carbon monoxide poising.

Then the firefighters went to every floor, discovering unacceptable levels of carbon monoxide throughout the building using detectors. They went to every room and told guests to leave the building, and 60 people escaped the incident. Several streets were closed for emergency responders, as ambulances from several communities were called to the inn, taking anyone who was affected to area hospitals.

Achilles says that 600 parts per million of carbon monoxide was found, which is way too high. The normal level is considered 35-45 parts per million. Officials speculated that the high level of poisonous gas came from a faulty heating system, but they haven’t officially named the cause.

They turned off the heating system and any other possible source of a leak. Then firefighters ventilated the hotel and looked for the cause. Officials said that the incident could have been much worse if the carbon monoxide level had risen this high during the night while everyone was sleeping.

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