Howard County motel evacuated for high carbon monoxide levels

Baltimore Sun reporter

A Howard County motel was temporarily evacuated Saturday night after rescue personnel discovered high levels of potentially lethal carbon monoxide there, a county fire and rescue spokesman said.

Responders were called to the Sleep Inn on Second Street in North Laurel about 8:32 p.m. to check a report of a possible chemical leak, and found five children complaining of headaches and nausea, according to Battalion Chief Eric D. Proctor. Monitoring equipment detected high levels of poisonous carbon monoxide gas in the air, prompting authorities to evacuate 30 motel occupants and take 11 of them to hospitals in Laurel and Columbia. All were released after evaluation, Proctor said.

An improperly functioning pool heater was found to be generating the gas, and it was shut down. All the motel's occupants were allowed to return to their rooms after the building was ventilated, Proctor said.

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