Oakton Garden Apartments Evacuated, High CO Readings

Units responded to a hazardous materials incident at two garden apartments Tuesday, May 12, 2015, at approximately 2:45 p.m., in the Oakton area of Fairfax County. The garden apartments are located at 2817 Jermantown Road and 3013 Borge Street.

Firefighters encountered high carbon monoxide (CO) readings in the parking garage of the apartment buildings upon arrival. Firefighters evacuated all occupants of the 108 apartments for more than three hours while the CO gas dissipated. There were no injuries.

According to fire investigators, a maintenance crew using two gasoline powered pressure washers caused the high CO level readings within the living areas of both apartments.

Multiple carbon monoxide detectors alerted the occupants.

Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips

  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height.
  • Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire department.
  • If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel arrive.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not covered with snow.