The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 27, 2013

Downtown building evacuated

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Several people were evacuated Thursday after Alliant Energy detected levels of carbon monoxide in a building on the 300 block of South Second Street in Clinton.

Ambulance and fire crews were called to the scene Thursday after a young woman was allegedly reported to have levels of carbon monoxide in her system and symptoms consistent with poisoning after she was taken to the emergency room.

According to Alleure Hair studio owner Justin Leu, the young woman passed out twice while she was having her hair done at the local studio.

“She said she was dizzy and that she felt like she was going to pass out,” Leu said. “And then she just went limp and her mom and I caught her and laid her on the ground.”

Once she came to, the girl again felt the symptoms coming on and, again lost consciousness.

One of the hair stylists at the salon also showed symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning and after she fainted, Leu took action and called Alliant Energy.

“I called Alliant for a gas leak around 12 p.m.,” Leu said. “Nothing smelled but we all had headaches and I knew something wasn’t right.”

When Alliant officials arrived, they detected high levels of carbon monoxide and immediately evacuated Alleure and the two other business that were affected by the leak, Second Time Around and Outdoor Sporting Den, as well as tenants that reside in the second level apartments of the building.

Clinton Fire Lt. Greg Forari said that although he didn’t have official numbers of what the carbon monoxide levels were when he arrived on scene, any amount is too much.

“We don’t like to have any readings. Even a low level can be dangerous,” said Forari, adding that many carbon monoxide leaks are caused by poor running heating units, furnaces and stoves, and said they receive at least one similar call a year.

After officials assessed the situation and removed everyone from inside, they proceeded to open all doors and windows to let as much clean, non-toxic air into the building.

Clinton County Emergency Management Agency assisted on the call, checking out the people who were evacuated for carbon monoxide levels. Once they were cleared, all chose not to be transported for treatment and no injuries were reported.