Several remain hospitalized after Carbon Monoxide scare - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Several remain hospitalized after Carbon Monoxide scare at Crystal Tower

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Hospitalized residents were hesitant to re-enter the building. Hospitalized residents were hesitant to re-enter the building.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

The carbon monoxide scare sent nearly 500 residents from the Crystal Tower high-rise apartment complex into the streets on Friday afternoon.

Serena Johnson was one of the people hospitalized. She was released Saturday and wasn't sure if she wanted to go back inside.

She described, "Gotta be leery about going back in. You see, I am sitting out here. Yeah, I am leery."

The leak was discovered just after 12 p.m. At the time, Ms. Johnson was inside her second story apartment and says her daughter who was visiting saved her life.

"My daughter was there. She crawled to the phone and saved our lives. She got to the phone and spoke with the ambulance and then she passed out while she was on the phone," affirmed Johnson of the grave situation.

Ms. Johnson received a ride home from the hospital this evening from her sister Carmella Chappell who says the entire incident was a brush with death.

She supplied, "I almost lost half of my entire family in one setting."

The problem cropped up after residents went to the hospital - suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The hospital contacted emergency crews and by 4 p.m. the entire building, all 278 units and more than 20 floors with almost 500 people, were evacuated.

As many as 11 residents needed medical attention, two were in critical condition. The body of 79- year-old Barbara Kelly was also pulled from the building but the coroner has not yet ruled on the cause of her death.

One resident commented, "To install carbon monoxide detectors.. how much can that be to save lives?"

By 9 p.m. on Friday, April 4 the building was ventilated and residents were allowed back in for a restless and worrisome night.

Officials also say the building was up to code.

Johnson recounted, "Last night me and my dude  slept with the windows open just in case of anything."

Officials identified several leaks but would not say where they were. This isn't the first time Crystal Towers has had problems. In 1993, according to a published report, a technician was crushed to death by an elevator. Even more sadly, last January a child was killed after he fell out of a 17th story window.

Copyright 2014 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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