According to the Gardner Fire Department in a Facebook posting, in the early morning crews from Group 2 responded for a fire alarm activation at the 59 Eastwood Circle facility. When they arrived they had no fire alarms sounding but there were multiple carbon monoxide detectors alarming throughout the building at about 1:30.
Fire crews gas meters immediately began to read “dangerously high amounts” of the deadly gas.
“Crews immediately went on air and located the source of the Carbon Monoxide coming from the boiler room. The source was a boiler malfunction,” according to the social media posting by the fire department.
Crews made their way to the upper floors to check carbon monoxide readings where the patients were housed.
“Crews detected elevated readings on all floors and immediately began to open all windows and place positive pressure fans through out the upper floors to keep the deadly gas away from the patients and staff,” the posting said.
More personnel with additional fans were dispatched to the facility.
Multiple ambulances stood by in case an evacuation was needed. It took crews more that two hours to vent the facility and return readings to a safe level.
“All of the staff and patients were checked with our RAD 57 to check if they had any Carbon Monoxide readings in their bodies, but luckily everyone checked out ok with no CO readings found in them,” the post said.
The fire department posting on Facebook noted, “This incident shows the Importance of having Carbon Monoxide detectors in your homes. Had their been no Carbon Monoxide detectors in this facility, this incident would have turned out much worse. Please keep your family safe and make sure all of your Carbon Monoxide detectors are working properly!!”
Catherine Fontaine, executive director of the nursing facility, Saturday morning said there were 114 patients and 20 staff in the building at the time of the incident. No one was harmed and the boiler was fixed early Friday morning.
“I can’t say enough about the professionalism of the Gardner Police and Fire departments,” she said.