75 children, 50 staff members evacuated from Ames childcare center due to carbon monoxide scare

Children and staff at an Ames childcare center had to be evacuated Thursday after alarms signaled a dangerous level of carbon monoxide in the facility.

According to a press release, the Ames Fire Department was called to ChildServe, a pediatric clinic located at 1915 Philadelphia Street, just after 1:00 p.m. Thursday. Officials were told that several carbon monoxide alarms had sounded in the building.

Firefighters responded to the scene and began monitoring the facility’s carbon monoxide levels. The press release states that “levels as high as 87 parts per million” were discovered in the childcare portions of the building. Many carbon monoxide monitors are programmed to sound with levels at 35 parts per million or higher.

ChildServe staff reportedly helped all 75 children, ages 5 and younger, who were inside the daycare relocate to a nearby building. In addition, 50 total staff members evacuated the area.

Officials utilized high-power electric fans to ventilate the structure. The entire process lasted approximately 45 minutes, at which point people were able to return to the facility.

The scare was reportedly the result of “inadequate ventilation” caused by a commercial crew that was operating gas-powered equipment while working in a new addition to the building. The release does not indicate whether the company at fault will face citations as a result of the incident.

No one was reported injured as a result of the gas.

Ames Deputy Fire Chief Tom Hackett expressed the importance of ensuring that your home or workplace contains functional alarms in the event of a mishap. “This is a good reminder of how well carbon monoxide detectors can provide an early warning of the presence of deadly carbon monoxide gas,” he stated. “Remember not to use generators, grills, gasoline-burning devices, or charcoal-burning devices inside your home or garage.”

If your carbon monoxide detector sounds or if you are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, call 911 immediately.

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