Workers recover from CO exposure

Three men suffered carbon monoxide poisoning last week while cleaning an underground condo garage on Kingston Road with a gas-fired power washer.

Firefighters found the men conscious and breathing, but showing signs of carbon monoxide exposure after they made their way up to the laneway outside the five-storey condo at 952 Kingston Rd.

Paramedics say two of the men were rushed to hospital, one with minor, the other with serious but non-life threatening injuries.

They also treated four residents who were exposed to the gas as it seeped up from the garage into the condo units and three more buildings along Scarborough Road.

Toronto Fire Services Captain Adrian Ratushniak said crews found carbon monoxide readings as high as 1300 parts per million in the garage, and up to 175 parts per million in the homes above.

According to Health Canada, short-term carbon-monoxide exposure is considered dangerous above 25 parts per million.

“It appears the lower-garage ventilation system did not function as required,” said Captain Ratushniak

He added that the workers also had the garage door closed when using the power washer.

Ratushniak said it’s important for residents to know that as of April 15, all Ontario homes with six suites or less are required by law to have a working carbon-monoxide detector. Owners of larger homes have until October 15 to comply.

“And just as we’ve said for years about smoke detectors, don’t unplug it just because it makes noise,” Ratushniak said.

“We see all too often that leads to injury or death – it’s your first line of defence in keeping your family safe.”

For more information on the danger of CO poisoning, see the website for Toronto Fire Services.


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