Springfield firefighters encountered extremely high levels of dangerous carbon monoxide gas during a fire on November 1 at the John Twitty Energy Center.
The toxic gas sent three CU workers to the hospital with varying degrees of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to CU. Assistant Fire Chief Randy Villines said Springfield firefighters are required to put on air packs when carbon monoxide levels reach 50 parts per million or more.
But fire crews found carbon monoxide readings of up to 3,000 parts per million when they tested the air near a burning coal bunker. “Holy cow, that’s some serious readings,” said Villines as he reviewed a fire department report about the incident. Three CU workers battled the smoldering blaze that ignited inside three of four coal bunkers before Springfield fire crews reached the site. On November 2, CU still was declining to identify the three employees or their conditions, citing a federal privacy law.
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