Cleaning & Restoration Breaking News

Carbon monoxide poisoning sickens 13 in Seattle

SEATTLE, April 28, 2008 – (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) - Thirteen people were treated for possible carbon monoxide poisoning Monday after exhaust from a carpet-cleaning machine fouled the air inside a North Seattle apartment building.

The most seriously hurt was the cleaning service employee, who lost consciousness on the building's third floor. Someone called 911 about 11:15 a.m., drawing a cavalcade of fire engines to the 18-unit building in the 12500 block of 35th Avenue Northeast, just east of Lake City Way.

The employee, along with eight residents, was taken to Harborview Medical Center, where his condition was unknown Monday afternoon. Four firefighters also went to the hospital for examination, Seattle Fire Deputy Chief Mike Walsh said.

Many of the civilian patients complained of headaches and dizziness, Walsh said. Three other residents had symptoms but declined to be taken to the hospital, he said.

The carpet cleaner was running a gas-powered generator in his van, parked in the building's garage.

A lack of ventilation allowed carbon monoxide fumes to waft into the building. Investigators were checking whether the garage door had been closed, Walsh said.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced from partial burning of fuels and can be inhaled without irritation. Carbon monoxide poisoning often manifests in symptoms of dizziness, headaches or nausea and can result in death.

"It could have been disastrous, absolutely," Walsh said. "We're all pleased that it was as small of an incident as it was to what it could have been," he said.

Carbon monoxide levels reached 1,000 parts per million in some parts of the building, well above a safety threshold of 35 parts per million. Firefighters were monitoring the building's air quality afterward, Walsh said.

It was unclear who called 911.

Firefighters went door-to-door, checking which residents had been sickened. Police closed off the block to traffic.

Jason Khan, who lives two buildings away, said he heard the sirens and watched as fire engines stopped along his street. He saw firefighters open a manhole cover and assumed it was a gas leak and quickly ran out his own building.

"I was thinking it's a gas leak or a terrorist attack -- either one," he said.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to i Cleaning Specialist Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

The 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition

A look in photos at the 2014 Experience Conference and Exhibition, which was held from April 24-26 at the Embassy Suites Convention Center and Spa in Frisco, Texas.


Yes, it's only February now - several weeks or months before the thaw depending on where you live - and hopefully this winter has been a profitable one for your business during the historical slow season. But now's also the time to start planning for the busy season - spring - so that you can hit the ground running. In this episode of The Hitman Advertising Show, John Braun shares tips and tricks on how to make this spring your most profitable yet.
More Podcasts

ICS Cleaning Specialist Magazine


2015 March

The March ICS issue features content on cleaning services, green chemistry, encapsulation, terrazzo floors, educating clients and new products.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Janitorial Work

In addition to residential and commercial carpet cleaning, do you do any janitorial work on the side?
View Results Poll Archive


The Carpet Cleaner's Book of Unlimited Success! (ebook)

Don’t worry about the recession or about your competition.  Now you can be the owner of over 400 ways for carpet cleaning professionals to make more money and get more jobs!

More Products


Director_Buyer.jpgThe premier resource and reference guide for the cleaning and restoration industries.

Click here to view


facebook_40.png twitter_40px.png youtube_40px.png


Truckmount.jpgEquipment listings and specifications from the leading industry manufacturers.

Click here to view