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Carbon monoxide sends six church members to hospital

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Lindsay Ruebens - lruebens@charlotteobserver.com
The Charlotte Fire Department needed about two hours to fan out the carbon monoxide-laden air at Shiloh Institutional Baptist Church on Saturday. The church said a faulty gas heating system was to blame for leaking the dangerous gas.

A carbon monoxide leak at Shiloh Institutional Baptist Church in west Charlotte sent six people to the hospital Saturday afternoon.

A Charlotte Fire Department hazardous materials team responded to a 2:30 p.m. call about a suspected leak at the church at 2400 Greenland Ave.

About 15 people were meeting there, and one person became dizzy and nauseated, said battalion chief Dale Brown. When others also started feeling ill, someone called 911.

Officials found the building to have about 1,000 parts per million of carbon monoxide, Brown said. “That’s very high,” he said, adding that carbon monoxide detectors typically record maximum readings of 400 ppm.

Gilda Harris, a church member, said she heard that the six taken to the hospital were just getting checked out and that she expected them to be fine.

Sunday services at the church have been canceled this weekend, Harris said.

Brown said the leak came from a problem with the building’s gas heating system.

“I encourage everyone to have their heating system checked on a regular basis, at least annually,” he said. He also recommended carbon monoxide detectors.

It’s fortunate someone knew to call 911, he said. He advised people to recognize the odorless gas if someone suddenly becomes dizzy, nauseated or unresponsive.

“It’s absolutely deadly,” Brown said. “That’s why it’s called the silent killer.”

Ruebens: 704-358-5294; Twitter: @lruebens
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