Carbon Monoxide Fumes Hospitalize Eight New Jersey Firefighters

TRENTON - Eight Trenton firefighters were taken to a hospital last night after the heating system in their fire station malfunctioned and they were exposed to potentially deadly levels of carbon monoxide, fire department officials said.

The incident occurred at the Engine 3 and Ladder 2 firehouse at 720 S. Broad St.

Two of the firefighters were being kept overnight at Capital Health System at Fuld hospital for observation, but both were expected to recover, said Battalion Chief Mark Rosen. He said the other six were sent home after being examined.

About 7:45 p.m. some of the firefighters on duty began to feel dizzy. They removed a portable gas meter from a fire engine and checked the building. They got readings "off the scale" and called for help, Rosen said.

Firefighters from Rescue 1 checked the firehouse with more advanced sensors and found 900 parts-per-million (ppm) of carbon monoxide in the basement and 100 ppm on the second floor, Rosen said.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas produced by the incomplete combustion of the fuels. Prolonged exposure, even at low levels, can be dangerous. High levels can be deadly.