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Victoria Mall evacuated because of carbon monoxide leak

By Sonny Long
Sept. 17, 2012 at 4:17 a.m.


What is Co?

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars, trucks and heating systems. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned by breathing it. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A routine sick call to Victoria Mall lead officials to evacuate the retail center Sunday night.

All the stores in the mall were closed when Victoria Fire Department personnel responded to the call of a sick person at 9:30 p.m., said Battalion Chief Bubba Bayer. The mall closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays.

"When we got on scene and began investigating, we discovered carbon monoxide coming from an area where some construction is being done," Bayer said.

Maintenance and security workers in the mall were evacuated. Four people were taken by ambulance to Victoria hospitals for treatment of exposure to carbon monoxide, Bayer said.

"We found the source and ventilated the mall. Security stayed on duty all night and continued to ventilate. It's all clear now," Bayer said Monday morning.

"The source of the carbon monoxide was a propane fueled floor stripper being used in an area that is under construction," said Tom Legler, city fire marshal. "The floor stripper was used in an area that was not properly ventilated."

The situation was cleared Sunday evening and the mall opened at its normal time - 10 a.m. Monday - said Rosanna Shoemake, the Victoria Mall's property and marketing manager.

Shoemake said she was not allowed to discuss those who were transported to hospitals or whether they returned to work.

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