Residents Want Answers After ‘Scary’ Carbon Monoxide Leak

By Tom Mustin

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – A carbon monoxide poisoning scare at an apartment building in Boulder has tenants concerned.

Investigators say it happened last week at the Canyon Apartments on Canyon Boulevard.

Canyon Apartments on Canyon Boulevard (credit: CBS)

Canyon Apartments on Canyon Boulevard (credit: CBS)

“Very, very nauseous. Very dizzy,” said tenant Mary, who didn’t want to give her last name.

Mary became violently ill during the carbon monoxide leak.

“I felt like I was going to throw up. I was sweating. Heart beating really fast, ” she told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Last Friday morning, Boulder firefighters evacuated the Canyon Apartments. Mary says no alarms had gone off on her floor, and she thought she had food poisoning. When her dog became sick, she tried to leave the apartment.

“I took a couple of steps, I had to lay down in the hallway of my apartment because I couldn’t keep walking.”

A construction worker opened her window and turned on a fan. Firefighters eventually led her outside.

BOULDER CARBON MONOXIDE 5VO(MAP)

“I was so weak I couldn’t get dressed. One of them got me a bathrobe and they got me out of here.”

After breathing oxygen, Mary still felt sick and went to the hospital that night. She was later told the CO levels were 50 times higher in the building than deemed safe. She says she still fears for her life, but the apartment managers will not allow her to break her lease and move.

Tenant James Cranston, woke up that morning also feeling sick.

CBS4's Tom Mustin interviews tenant James Cranston (credit: CBS)

CBS4’s Tom Mustin interviews tenant James Cranston (credit: CBS)

“This is the final nail in the coffin,” Cranston said.

He went to work but was sent home. He arrived back the apartment, and was told about the leak.

“I was really concerned because none of the alarms went off. None of them,” he said.

He then received an email from Heartwood Management.

“We go back to the building because we get the all clear. Then we get an email saying there’s a ‘suspicious level.’ It’s not suspicious. It was there,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The leak was discovered in the boiler room and fixed.

Cranston says management also installed CO detectors on his floor. He says management initially told him he could move out to another Heartwood property.

“I started the process of moving in, then I got another call saying the higher ups say it’s not okay.”

Meanwhile, Mary says she’s lucky to be alive, She’s just bought a personal CO detector, and she’s looking forward to moving on.

“I just want to move out and get back to normal life,” Mary said.

A project manager at the building says he heard an alarm going off and called 911 after seeing Mary.

Heartwood Management has not commented on the issue.

Tom Mustin is CBS4’s Weekend Anchor. He has been with CBS4 since 2002, and is always looking for great story ideas. Connect with Tom on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @TomCBS4.

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