Fire Media Release July 17, 2018
Carbon Monoxide Emergency- Odenton
Just after 8 a.m. on July 17th firefighters responded to a report of three patients experiencing symptoms related to exposure to carbon monoxide at the Navy Federal Credit Union, located at 1179 Annapolis Road. Firefighters arrived to find 12 construction workers who had been doing renovation work inside the building since 5 a.m. One of the tools used inside by the workers was a propane powered saw. After two to three hours of working with the saw, several workers began complaining of symptoms including headache, dizziness, nausea and respiratory distress.
Firefighters and paramedics began assessing and treating the 12 workers while simultaneously investigating and ventilating inside the building. Firefighters identified carbon monoxide levels as high as 850 parts per million inside the building. Carbon monoxide levels above 800 parts per million can cause headache, nausea, and dizziness after 45 minutes, collapse and unconsciousness after one hour and death within 2-3 hours. The source of the carbon monoxide was identified as the propane-powered saw.
All 12 workers, consisting of 11 males and one female ranging in age from 22 to 55, were transported by paramedics for treatment. Six patients were transported to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center for possible treatment at the Center for Hyperbaric Medicine. The other six patients were transported to the University of Maryland Hospital. It was initially reported that three patients were transported to Shock Trauma and nine patients to the University of Maryland. However, the destinations were changed after the patients were transported from the scene to distribute the patients more equally between the two facilities. Three of the patients transported had symptoms that were serious, but not believed life-threatening and the other patients had possibly serious symptoms.
Staff who work at the Navy Federal Credit Union began reporting for work before 9 a.m. but were denied entry into the building while ventilation was completed. Around 9:45 a.m. there were no carbon monoxide readings in the credit union and the building was turned over to the branch staff.