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Carbon monoxide reaches potentially lethal level at Mitchell business

The Mitchell Fire Department is lauding employees at Mitchell Iron & Supply for identifying a carbon monoxide issue Tuesday morning, potentially avoiding deaths.

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The Mitchell Fire Department is lauding employees at Mitchell Iron & Supply for identifying a carbon monoxide issue Tuesday morning, potentially avoiding deaths.

At approximately noon, employees at the business called the fire department feeling sick and suspecting elevated carbon monoxide levels. That call could have saved lives, according to Mitchell Fire Cpt. Steve Nedved.

Upon arrival, crews found carbon monoxide levels of approximately 250 parts per million in the lobby, which is “pretty elevated,” Nedved said, and can cause headaches and loss of judgment within three hours.

In the boiler room, levels spiked at 1,400 parts per million, which is lethal within one hour, Nedved said.

None of the three employees present required treatment, and the fire department spent about one hour ventilating the building, located at 217 W. First Ave.

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As temperatures drop and people begin using boilers and furnaces more frequently, Nedved urged the public to take a note from Mitchell Iron & Supply employees and err on the side of safety.

“It’s that time of year people are going to get furnaces fired up, so they need to just make sure they’re serviced and operating correctly in homes and businesses,” Nedved said, emphasizing the importance of carbon monoxide detectors and knowing warning signs that include headaches, dizziness and nausea.

Carbon monoxide is the product of incomplete combustion and it could reach dangerous levels if furnaces and boilers are not ventilated correctly, Nedved said.

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