The Grande Prairie Fire Department is reminding people of the importance of installing and testing fire detectors at work and home after evacuating two businesses on Friday. Fire Chief Preben Bossen says that units were originally dispatched to reset a carbon monoxide alarm at a business north of downtown.
“Once we got there we brought in monitors that would provide crews readings on whether or not there was carbon monoxide present,” Bossen says. “They discovered that there was carbon monoxide present, and they started to evacuate the two businesses.”
Eighteen people were transported by EMS to hospital for experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Along with the people in the businesses, some animals were also evacuated.
Bossen explains that carbon monoxide is caused when chemicals do not combust.
“In this case the cause was a gas-powered tool that was used in an enclosed building.”
He adds that having a working carbon monoxide alarm alerted the businesses early on the issue. Residents are being advised to install and test their carbon monoxide detectors not only at home but at their businesses too.