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High levels of carbon monoxide force evacuation of St. James hotel

WINNIPEG — Guests at the Viscount Gort Hotel in the St. James area had to be evacuated early Monday due to high levels of carbon monoxide.

Fire crews were called to the hotel on the 1600 block of Portage Avenue just after 12 a.m.

“With the help of other agencies, such as Manitoba Hydro, we were able to find out that there was some issues with the heating duct,” Alex Forrest, president of the United Firefighters of Winnipeg, said.

When crews checked the carbon monoxide reader, it indicated there was a high level of the gas in the air, according to the City of Winnipeg.

No one was taken to the hospital, but the evacuees had to wait in transit buses while the building was ventilated.

It’s not known how many guests were forced out or how long they were outside.

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This comes days after a man was killed from carbon monoxide poisoning while working at a business in St. Boniface.

WATCH: Carbon monoxide kills man at Winnipeg business, dozens more sick

Click to play video: 'Carbon monoxide kills man at Winnipeg business, dozens more sick'
Carbon monoxide kills man at Winnipeg business, dozens more sick

Lombard North Group, a landscape architecure firm on Tache Avenue, is where the man died.

There were no carbon monoxide alarms in the building but legally they didn’t have to be there, said fire commissioner Dave Schafer.

Forrest said they have had a high number of carbon monoxide calls lately.

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“Talking with the firefighters, this is abnormally high level of calls that we’re getting,” Forrest said.

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“I think it’s because winter had hit so quick and we went from basically very minimal heating in our homes to almost 100 per cent heating.”

The fire commissioner is reminding people and businesses to make sure furnaces and chimneys are working properly. Carbon monoxide detectors should also be checked every six months.

Common symptoms of poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

With files from 680 CJOB

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