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KEARNS — Multiple apartments were evacuated in Kearns Wednesday night and six people were taken to the hospital after high levels of carbon monoxide were discovered.
Authorities were called to an apartment complex at about 5000 West and 4850 South Wednesday at 9:15 p.m., according to Cpt. Clint Mecham with Unified Fire Authority.
A mother of five called 911 reporting one of her children was complaining of nausea and a headache, and that it had been relatively sudden. Firefighters from Unified Fire reported to the scene.
"When they started taking care of the child, the other children all started kind of complaining of the same thing," Mecham said. "(The firefighters) said it was unusual."
Due to the sudden onset of the illness, authorities tested for elevated levels of carbon monixide. Levels in the apartment tested at 64 parts per million. Homes are normally evacuated once levels hit 10 parts per million.
Hazmat crews and representatives from Questar Gas determined a faulty water heater in the apartment was to blame for the unusual levels, according to Mecham.
Carbon monoxide, once it gets into the body, can do some weird things.
–Cpt. Clint Mecham
Four apartments were evacuated as a precautionary measure, although only the first apartment had extremely elevated levels of the gas, Mecham said. The woman and her five childrem were not showing "extreme symptoms" of carbon monoxide poisoning, but were taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
"Carbon monoxide, once it gets into the body, can do some weird things," Mecham said.
He recommended homeowners keep carbon monoxide detectors in their homes, especially where they sleep.
"Treat those just like a smoke detector," he said. "Test them on a regular basis. Change the batteries if they start to become faulty. Just have that extra level of protection in your home for your family."