Little Italy apartment building evacuated due to high levels of carbon monoxide

An apartment building in Little Italy has been ventilated after high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) were detected Tuesday afternoon.

Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) responded to a low-rise building in the 0-100 block of Beech Street shortly before 2 p.m. after a 9-1-1 caller reported that the CO alarm was going off in their first-floor apartment. The caller also reported an odour of vehicle exhaust in the underground parking garage.

Firefighters donned personal protective equipment and self-contained breathing apparatus after confirming initial readings of 60 parts per million (PPM) in the front entrance of the three-storey building.

Crews then made their way to the underground parking garage where three workers were found operating two gas-powered pressure washers.

CO readings in the garage were higher than 400 PPM and the workers were immediately brought outside.

Firefighters then proceeded to investigate the first and second floors where readings of 25 PPM were found in the hallways and 30-45 PPM were found in the units, while on the third floor, levels of 5-10 PPM were found.

Approximately 30 residents were evacuated from the building and sheltered in an OC Transpo bus while firefighters used high-pressurized fans to ventilate.

The property manager also responded to the scene with keys, allowing crews to check every unit in the structure.

The entire building was ventilated and residents were able to return to their units shortly after 4 p.m.

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