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Why Carbon Monoxide Alarms Should Be A Must

When children and staff began feeling nauseous and dizzy at the So Big Child Development Center in Pequannock, N.J., workers evacuated 90 people from the building.

Thirty-six people, including 34 children, were taken to hospitals with what turned out to be the effects of carbon monoxide inhalation.

The carbon monoxide contamination was caused by equipment used in contracting work on a church next door and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the construction project.

“They were using some equipment that operated and created combustion, exhaust, so forth. And some of those fumes permeated into the day care center,” Pequannock police Capt. Christopher DePuyt said.

A construction permit sign posted on the front door of Cornerstone Chapel shows they were doing interior demolition work using a small bulldozer called a Bobcat.

“There was a Bobcat involved, a small Bobcat inside the building, it’s a decent size space. Also, I was told there was a demolition saw, so some sort of cutting,” said DePuyt.

“Everyone was triaged at the scene by EMS,” DePuyt said. “We did have 36 people transported to the hospital for very minor situations of just general nausea, not feeling well and some elevated carbon monoxide levels.”

As word of the incident spread rushed to check on their kids. Most of the children, who were treated at Morristown Medical Center, Chilton Memorial Hospital and Valley Hospital, had been discharged by 3 p.m..

Officials praised the response from child care workers and parents.

OSHA is now investigating the contractor, McEntee Construction, which had been doing the work. OSHA said the investigation at this site could take up to six months.

Every child care facility should have a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide alarm. For all you need to know about carbon monoxide and the importance of alarms that warn of its presence go to;

The day care center announced it’ll open as scheduled Tuesday morning.


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