School Closings And Delays

Carbon Monoxide Fumes Condemn Berwick Apartments

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BERWICK -- A mother and her three children were hospitalized in Columbia County after succumbing to carbon monoxide fumes inside their Berwick apartment.

A total of 15 people were forced out of that apartment building after fire crews found extremely high levels of the gas.

Condemned signs were posted on the doors of all eight apartment units at a building on Warren Street in Berwick.

Fire crews were called to the building after 3 p.m. Wednesday, after a mother and her three children were taken to the hospital, overcome with carbon monoxide fumes.

“Extreme case of carbon monoxide,” said Berwick Fire Chief Bill Coolbaugh. “We got a call approximately 20 after three for a CO call with illness, the individuals that live here actually took themselves to the hospital.”

The code inspector temporarily condemned the building.

Concepcion Deleno is the cousin of the woman who was hospitalized and said her children are 15 years old, four years old and 10 months old.

“They're fine right now, they have oxygen and everything, taken care of in the ER,” said Deleno.

The Berwick Fire Chief believes the CO fumes built up due to improper ventilation of the furnaces and a broken pipe that connected all the furnaces to one chimney.

“Each individual unit has a furnace but they all run over to one main pipe that goes in the chimney, so they`re using one chimney for all eight furnaces,” said Chief Coolbaugh.

A resident lives in a unit with his girlfriend. However he said they were feeling sick and stayed with her mother the past two days.

As a precaution, an ambulance crew checked him out.

The chief said all the residents will stay with relatives.

“They could stay at my house or her brother`s house for however long they want,” said Deleno.

The fire chief is trying to contact the landlord, who he said lives in New York.

The chief said once the furnace situation is fixed and cleared by the code inspector, residents can return.