Snow buildup causes carbon monoxide scare at nursing home on Grand Island - The Buffalo News

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Snow buildup causes carbon monoxide scare at nursing home on Grand Island

Residents of a Grand Island nursing home were moved to safe areas of the building Saturday as a precaution after high levels of carbon monoxide were detected in the basement, fire officials said Sunday.

No evacuation was required because the deadly gas was confined to the basement where firefighters detected the cause of the carbon monoxide – snow buildup that blocked vents – and eliminated the problem.

Shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, firefighters were called to the Elderwood at Grand Island skilled nursing facility at 2850 Grand Island Blvd., where they detected dangerous carbon monoxide levels of 350 to 400 parts per million in the basement near a boiler that provides hot water and heat for the two-story building, according to Grand Island Fire Chief Matthew S. Osinski.

Osinski said they determined that the boiler air vents had been blocked by snow because of plowing, resulting in the gas buildup in the basement.

The snow blockage was cleared, he said, and large fans were used to vent the gas from the basement.

Several search-and-rescue teams checked carbon monoxide levels on the two floors where residents are located and found no evidence of the gas having moved up to those floors from the basement, Osinski said.

As precautions, residents were moved to areas away from elevators and stairways where the gas might seep from the basement, and an ambulance was called to the scene. There was no need to evacuate any of the facility’s 86 residents.

All Grand Island Fire Company units returned to normal service at 6:25 p.m., after National Fuel representatives were brought in as a further precaution.


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