10 At Warehouse Sickened By Gas

August 21, 2009|By Nick Madigan | Nick Madigan,nick.madigan@baltsun.com

Ten people were rushed to a hospital Thursday and treated for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning after abnormally high levels of the gas were detected in a Rosedale warehouse.

About 60 employees at the two-story, 155,000-square-foot Case Mason packing warehouse at 9101 Yellow Brick Road were evacuated before noon after the carbon monoxide alarm went off, said Elise Armacost, a Baltimore County Fire Department spokeswoman. An adjoining business also was evacuated.

The 10 people taken to Franklin Square Hospital Center all exhibited minor or moderate symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, Armacost said.

Gas meters showed about 300 parts per million of carbon monoxide in the warehouse. "This is a dangerously high level that causes serious headache, nausea and dizziness within three to four hours and can be life-threatening after about four to five hours," she said.

Firefighters dispatched at 11:35 a.m. determined that the gas probably built up in the warehouse as a result of three propane-fueled forklifts being used in the building, Armacost said. Case Mason, founded in 1974, routinely uses the forklifts to move items in the warehouse.

Armacost said firefighters advised the owners of the business to check the building's ventilation system. After firefighters ventilated the building, carbon monoxide levels dropped to normal, she said.

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