Dangerously High Levels Of Carbon Monoxide Reason Cobourg Community Centre Was Closed

In Editor Choice, Local

Dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide was the reason the Cobourg Community Centre was closed on Monday, January 21, 2019.
Today’s Northumberland first broke the story the CCC was closed because of carbon monoxide at the facility earlier this week.
Carbon monoxide is often called the “silent killer. It is a colourless, tasteless gas that you can’t smell and causes illness that can lead to death.
The Town of Cobourg issued a release stating, “The Town of Cobourg would like to advise citizens that the Cobourg Community Centre will be closed today and all classes have been cancelled,” on their public notice section of their website, but there was no press release issued.
Temperatures for the day were a bone chilling -25 degrees Celsius with the wind chill.
A number of people didn’t get the message as they showed up to the facility either in vehicles, getting dropped off, or by transit.
Director of Community Services Dean Hustwick spoke to Today’s Northumberland explaining the issue.
“It was due to a unusual combination of factors due to the extreme cold and high wind.”
Because of the cold and high winds, it pushed back the exhaust from one of the boilers into another exhaust outlet that wasn’t being used.
“The extreme cold and wind possibly blowing some of the exhaust back it into a exhaust pipe and entered the building,” said Hustwick.
“It’s the first time that’s happened.”
An carbon monoxide (battery) alarm inside the boiler room was activated, but it wasn’t hooked into the rest of the buildings alarm system.
Hustwick said, three people were on the walking track, and they were asked to leave the track right away. They were in the hallway and the decision was made by the emergency officials to evacuate the entire building.
Carbon monoxide readings inside the boiler room were 560 parts per million. Readings at the walking track were 17 parts per million and downstairs by the front entrance were 18 parts per million.
Three staff at the CCC were sent to hospital for “routine checks” and released.
“Anything like this we always take this very seriously and that’s why the building was evacuated as a precaution.”
Hustwick wasn’t sure how long after the carbon monoxide was discovered that emergency services were contacted, and said, “the people were being evacuated fairly quickly.”
“The boiler was shut off and staff turned on an exhaust fan to expel the carbon monoxide from the building.”
A repair company was immediately called to the facility.
Hustwick said there will be a de-briefing of the situation to learn from the experience.
“Whether the actual bus drivers need to be notified or maybe have someone park right near the entrance to make sure people were notified or people getting off the bus knew so they could get back on the bus.”
“When you’re trying to deal with the most immediate concerns those simple things get overlooked.”
“No matter how prepared you are, there are always things you could do differently or better.”

Carbon Monoxide Levels Risk Chart http://www.myhomecomfort.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/CO_Levels_Risk_Chart.pdf

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

Join Our Newsletter!

Want to keep up to date on news and events in Northumberland? Subscribe to newsletter!

You may also read!

Cobourg is Seeking Local Artist Submissions for the Painted Picnic Table Program

Successful artists will receive $300 each for their design and creation. The Town of Cobourg in partnership with the Downtown


Northumberland District of the Retired Teacher/Educators of Ontario Hosting All Candidates Meeting

The Northumberland District of the Retired Teacher/Educators of Ontario is proud to host an All Candidates Meeting. This event will


Durham Regional Police – Human Remains Located in Uxbridge

Investigators have confirmed the identity of the human remains that were located in Uxbridge last week.   On Tuesday, May 10,


Mobile Sliding Menu

Terms | Privacy |