Baltimore Firefighters Close Streets after High Levels of Carbon Monoxide

March 25, 2024
The levels were detected in the Knickerbocker building, a survivor of the 1904 Great Fire of Baltimore.

Dillon Mullan

Baltimore Sun


Firefighters detected dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in downtown Baltimore on Sunday afternoon

A Baltimore City Fire Department hazmat team responded around 1 p.m. to a fire alarm in the 200 block of East Lexington Street downtown. Firefighters detected carbon monoxide levels of 400 parts per million in a seven-story building with a restaurant on the first floor and offices, spokesperson Kevin Cartwright said.

According to the U.S. Product Safety Commission, sustained carbon monoxide levels above 150 parts per million can be deadly. The current permissible exposure limit set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is 50 parts per million.

Entrance to the Knickerbocker building at the intersection of Guilford Avenue and East Lexington Street was prohibited around 2:30 p.m. The building dates back to 1874 and is a survivor of the Great Fire of Baltimore in 1904.

Firefighters searched the area and found six maintenance hole covers nearby with elevated levels of carbon monoxide but did not immediately find evidence of an underground electrical fire.

“We were questioning whether there was some kind of underground electrical fire, but there is no significant indicator of that as of this minute,” Cartwright said. “So that does not appear to be the case.”

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