MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hundreds of students were evacuated from an apartment complex near the University of Minnesota Wednesday night due to a carbon monoxide scare.
WCCO’s Kate Raddatz spoke to students about the long night.
Sophie Kohl was preparing a final project for one of her classes late Wednesday when her work was cut short.
“I heard a loud knocking and it was the firefighters telling us that we had to evacuate,” Kohl said.
Minneapolis Firefighters were called to the Chateau Student Housing around 10:45 p.m. after a CO detector in the garage below the complex went off. They said it was a machine that caused unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in the building.
“Our crews found up to 500 parts per million of CO in the sublevels of the parking garage underneath the highrise,” Dept. Chief Kathleen Mullen, Minneapolis Fire Department.
The Minneapolis Fire Department said there was a door that was cracked open in the garage that allowed the gas to get into the residential area.
Around 200 people were evacuated and temporarily stayed on busses and in a nearby apartment.
“They were pretty nice they provided us ice cream and water and bathrooms and just asked us what we need,” Xiao Gu, UMN Graduate Student said.
Firefighters reversed the HVAC system to get air out and fresh air in. They then went unit by unit making sure it was safe for students to return.
Kohl got back in after 1 a.m. She said she was a little tired before presenting her project, but grateful everyone was okay.
“That knock on the door. I’m actually very glad we heard that we heard that last night,” Kohl.
The man that was operating the machine in the basement was taken to the hospital as a precaution to get checked out. No one else was hurt.
Some students were concerned that the carbon monoxide detectors on the residential floors did not go off. Firefighters told Kate the CO levels had not reached a level high enough to make set them off.