At 9:34 a.m. on June 23, 2022, Penn State Health EMS department responded to 955 Norland Avenue, Kohl’s, for the report of an unconscious patient.
That EMS unit arrived on the scene at 9:38 a.m. and as they entered the building, a carbon monoxide alarm that was attached to their equipment bag activated indicating that carbon monoxide was present.
The EMS crew quickly notified Franklin County Department of Emergency Services of the incident and requested that the Chambersburg Fire Department respond to assist.
The Chambersburg Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene at 9:46 a.m. Upon arrival, the store was in the process of being evacuated and fire department personnel quickly initiated a search for any additional victims. While conducting the search, firefighters encountered carbon monoxide throughout the entire occupancy with levels exceeding 280 parts per million in most portions. No further victims were located inside.
While the search was being conducted, additional fire department personnel started to evaluate and triage the staff that were present. Fire department personnel quickly indicated that there numerous patients and additional basic and advanced life support EMS units were requested to respond.
15 transferred to hospitals
In total, there were 28 individuals medically evaluated on the scene. Of those, 15 were transported to Chambersburg and Waynesboro hospitals for high levels of carbon monoxide present in their body. One patient was transported to a specialized hospital for further treatment. At the time of the press release it is unknown of any of the patient’s condition or if any had been released.
Improper use of construction equipment
The cause of the carbon monoxide was improper use of propane-powered construction equipment that was being utilized overnight and into the morning for remodeling and lack of proper ventilation.
The following departments and agencies assisted on the scene: Chambersburg Fire and EMS Department, Penn State Health EMS, Fayetteville Fire Department EMS, Marion Fire Department EMS, and building code officials.
Crews cleared the scene at 2:47 p.m. on June 23, 2022.
Questions should be directed to the Chambersburg Fire Department, Fire Chief Dustin Ulrich at 717-753-0750 or firstname.lastname@example.org.