BEDFORD -- Fire Chief David Grunes and Police Chief Robert Bongiorno report that two people were taken Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington they were sickened by high carbon monoxide levels in a Bedford apartment building.
Bedford Police and Fire responded to 1105 Albion Roadat 5 p.m. for a reported carbon monoxide alarm activation. Upon arrival, the Bedford Fire Department reported high levels of carbon monoxide inside and ordered a complete evacuation of the building's 20 apartments.
Two residents had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital, but they are expected to recover.
After an investigation, all residents were accounted for, and it was determined that the problem originated in the building's boiler. Building management arrived on scene to affect repairs and to assist residents. Residents were allowed back inside around 8 p.m.
"Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, and we are fortunate that all residents made it out safely," Chief Grunes said. "I want to thank the residents for their cooperation and patience as first responders investigated and ventilated the building."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, at least 430 people die and approximately 50,000 people visit the emergency room as a result of accidental CO poisoning in the United States.
Exposure to carbon monoxide can produce flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, confusion, fainting, unconsciousness, and in serious cases, can be fatal.
The Bedford Police and Fire Departments remind all residents: If you suspect you have be exposed to CO, get out of the house and call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbor’s house. If you experience any symptoms associated with CO poisoning, seek medical attention immediately.
Chief Bongiorno and Chief Grunes credited the properly working carbon monoxide detectors for saving the lives of residents in the building.
"This was a very dangerous situation, and had it not been for the CO alarms sounding, this could have turned into a serious tragedy," said Bedford Police Sgt. Paul Saunders, who responded to the scene.