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1 student dead, 2 hospitalized after CO poisoning at Wash. college

Students were living inside a mod on Evergreen State College’s Olympia campus


McLane Black Lake Fire Department/Facebook

By Rolf Boone
The Olympian

OLYMPIA, Wash. — One student has died and two other students were hospitalized by suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at The Evergreen State College in Olympia Monday night, a spokeswoman for the college said.

The students were living on campus in Evergreen’s modular housing, said spokeswoman Kelly Von Holtz. The student who died was 21-year-old Jonathan Rodriguez of DuPont. His medical examination is set for Thursday, Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said.

It was about 8 p.m. Monday when a student residence manager couldn’t reach those inside the modular housing. An Evergreen police officer later broke down a door to the housing and attempted to revive the students, but in the process was poisoned by carbon monoxide and taken to an area hospital.

The officer was released this morning, Von Holtz said.

The modular housing or “mods” are smaller buildings with larger bedrooms and two bathrooms. Each mod houses six students per building, according to college information.

It was not immediately clear if the residence manager and police officer were first alerted to the problem by carbon monoxide alarms. However, a contractor had responded to alarms earlier in the day, according to the college.

McLane Black Lake Fire Department responded to the situation and did carbon monoxide testing in the affected area. Campus officials contacted all other students in the area to make sure they were safe, Von Holtz said.

Von Holtz shared a statement from the school’s president.

“This is a tragedy and we grieve with our students and families,” said John Carmichael. “The safety of students, staff and faculty remain Evergreen’s top priority.”

The Washington State Patrol is investigating the death, WSP spokesman Chris Loftis said.

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