AMHERST, NY - University at Buffalo officials are installing carbon monoxide detector systems campus-wide in the wake of a CO scare Sunday night on the UB North Campus.
According to a university spokesperson, five students became ill with symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide exposure. Two of the them were driven to Millard Suburban Hospital, two others were taken by ambulance, and a fifth was treated by paramedics at the scene.
The carbon monoxide leak occurred at the Richmond Quad Housing area. The university spokesperson said the first report of any trouble happened at 8:30pm. More than 500 students were evacuated.
Fire crews from Getzville identified a boiler as the source of the carbon monoxide. They were able to stop the leak and ventilate the building. crews from National Fuel also checked the building to ensure it was safe.
The university re-opened the dorms at 11:15pm. The university had no information on the condition of the students who became sick. However, the spokesperson said none of them lost consciousness.
University officials tell 2 On Your Side that hard-wired carbon monoxide detectors were not in the dormitories because they are not mandated by law. They do have several plug-in units near possible CO sources, such as boilers and laundry rooms.
Joseph Brennan, UB's Associate Vice President for University Communications, says that this incident is a call to action and they will begin installing integrated, hard-wired smoke, heat and CO detectors in all dormitory buildings in the next few weeks.