A carbon monoxide poisoning incident inside a government-owned Saint John housing complex last December has residents calling for more transparency from the provincial government.
A man in his 50s and two children were rushed to hospital on Dec. 29 after being overcome by the odourless and potentially deadly fumes.
Tim Mason was just a few doors down from the home in Stephen Park when he says he was asked to break down a door.
He walked inside to find a man who was overcome by carbon monoxide.
“He couldn’t even talk or respond,” said Mason. “He couldn’t get to the door handle.”
All three people in the unit were able to make a full recovery.
A published report, obtained through a Right To Information request, details the government’s investigation into the incident. It points to a faulty boiler that never underwent an initial inspection, and that the incident that took place could have resulted in deaths.
Mason is now questioning why residents in the area were not informed on the investigation, and what was being done to ensure something like this never happens again.
“I think everybody in these buildings should have been told right away,” said Mason.
WATCH: Close call leads to demand for more carbon monoxide education in New Brunswick
The Opposition Conservatives agree, calling the government’s actions “shameful.”
“Those residents should have been followed up with,” said Saint John Lancaster MLA Dorothy Shephard. “They should have been assured that their home was safe and they should have understood what led to the events that happened.”
Shephard says there needs to be more accountability.
“We’re accountable for people that have entrusted themselves into our care in so much as NB Housing is subsidized housing. We know there’s a vulnerable sector living in this housing.”
The government wouldn’t address the question of why residents weren’t given the results of the investigation. In a statement, the Department of Justice and Public Safety said it has “taken action to ensure carbon monoxide leaks do not happen again, including all public housing buildings that have natural gas boilers are already installed with carbon monoxide detectors to the code specifications.”
The Department of Justice and Public Safety will study this isolated incident to determine whether a new regulatory model is needed.
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