Woman found unresponsive with carbon monoxide poisoning at Steamboat condo complex
January 9, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A woman was taken to UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center in critical condition early Sunday morning after being poisoned by carbon monoxide.
Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue firefighters were dispatched to the Waterside Condos at 1110 Yampa St. for an elderly female who was found unconscious, according to a news release.
Atmos Energy and Central Park Management had been at Waterside trying to find the source of carbon monoxide when they discovered the woman in her condo.
The name of the woman was not released.
Steamboat Fire Rescue public information officer Christian Keller said Sunday night that they were told the woman was still alive.
When firefighters arrived, they found the unresponsive woman on the street. She was being looked after by staff from Central Park and Atmos, who removed the woman from the residence.
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She was quickly taken to YVMC.
Central Park and Atmos had attempted to evacuate the building, but there were still some occupied residences.
Elevated levels of carbon monoxide were found in numerous residences.
Firefighters helped wake up residents and get them out of the building. In some cases, this meant breaking down doors, Keller said.
The residents and visitors staying at the complex were taken to a Steamboat Springs Transit bus to stay warm.
Firefighters, Atmos and Central Park then searched for the cause of the gas.
It was determined it came from a vehicle that had been left running for an extended period of time.
It took awhile to determine the cause because the vehicle had been turned off before firefighters arrived.
Firefighters spent six hours investigating the incident.
They found that there were condos that did not have carbon monoxide alarms.
"Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue encourages individuals to install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms in all living quarters and residences," the news release said.
A 2009 Colorado law (HB 09-1091) requires that carbon monoxide detectors be in all rentals units, and the detectors must be within 15 feet of any bedroom.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless byproduct of the incomplete combustion of fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane and natural gas.
According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 170 people in the United States die on average every year from carbon monoxide, excluding incidents involving automobiles.