6, including toddler, transported for CO leak at Ill. church

Evanston fire crews detected carbon monoxide concentration levels five times greater than the threshold for what’s considered dangerous inside the Mount Pisgah Ministry


William Lee
Chicago Tribune

EVANSTON, Ill. — High levels of carbon monoxide inside an Evanston church sent six people, including a toddler, to area hospitals for observation Sunday afternoon while five other people were treated at the scene, according to Evanston officials.

Evanston fire crews detected carbon monoxide concentration levels five times greater than the threshold for what’s considered dangerous inside the Mount Pisgah Ministry in the 1800 block of Church Street in the north suburb around 12:40 p.m., officials said in a written statement.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is deadly when inhaled at high levels over time. Readings inside the church Sunday showed a concentration of more than 500 parts per million; safety officials said exposure to a concentration of more than 100 parts per million is considered dangerous.

No one was critically injured, but the initial call indicated an unresponsive toddler. A fire official said the child required advanced life support care in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The toddler, whose age and gender were not released, was one of six people who were taken to hospitals as a precaution and whose conditions were stabilized, officials said. Five others were treated at the scene and refused transport.


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Fire officials raised an elevated alarm to summon additional fire personnel from neighboring communities to assist at the scene.

Early reports pointed to a leaky furnace, but Nicor workers were working to rule out additional sources of the gas, according to the statement. Calls to the church weren’t answered Sunday afternoon.

Fire officials reminded residents to have heating units and smoke detectors working properly as winter approaches.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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