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Children playing on exhaust pipes cause of carbon monoxide poisoning at Saskatoon apartment

Residents of a Saskatoon apartment stand outside after being evacuated for the second time in two months due to dangerous carbon monoxide levels. Global News

An exhaust pipe that broke outside a Saskatoon apartment building resulting in high levels of carbon monoxide (CO) in the building, was caused by children hanging off the pipe, the fire department has determined.

The fire department received a 9-1-1 call at 6:17 p.m. on Friday evening from an occupant at 20 Bateman Cres., who said they heard a loud bang and ringing CO alarms.

Read more: Saskatoon apartment building evacuated twice in two months for carbon monoxide levels

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene to investigate and identified 1,600 parts per million (ppm) of CO.

They found no signs or symptoms of CO poisoning in the residents, though.

SaskEnergy and City of Saskatoon Transit were requested to attend and the fire investigator was also dispatched to the scene. Residents stayed in warm city buses during the investigation.

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It was identified the exhaust serving the boiler had broken on the outside of the building when children were hanging off it, which cause the ventilation to be damaged. The broken pipe resulted in the boiler exhausting into the building instead of outside the building, causing high levels of CO.

Read more: 43 people at Saskatoon apartment building treated for carbon monoxide poisoning

SaskEnergy repaired the ventilation and once repairs were complete, fire crews took readings to make sure the exhaust was no longer coming into the building.

SaskEnergy said it is safe for residents to return to their suites.

This is the second incident involving CO at this apartment complex. In January, 100 people had to be evacuated from two apartment buildings at the same location. CO alarms were installed after this close call.

More information on CO poisoning is available on the federal government website.

–With files from Emily Olsen

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