LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Koreatown building has been red-tagged Friday after two people may have died from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
Firefighters were called to a 90-year-old apartment building on 920 S. Hobart St. at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday to help three people who reported feeling sick and.
While helping her, the firefighters noticed “something off” in the building and checked their gas meters, which showed elevated levels of carbon monoxide, Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Capt. Erik Scott said. The woman was taken to an ambulance, and a hazardous materials team called in.
The team found a man dead in his apartment one floor above.
Residents reported a foul odor in the building for the past week coming from the elevator shaft, however, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. It’s not clear what was causing the foul odor.
“I had smelled odors back last summer, there were strange odors, and I had complained about it,” resident Gavin McCarroll said. “There’s been alarms going off in the building, and nothing, you know, they never get shut off.”
“If I had been on that couch asleep, I wouldn’t be here talking to you,” said resident Lashawn Kennard. She said her unit is next to the one belonging to the man who was found dead.
Adding to the mystery is the death of another resident, a man whose body was found in his apartment three days ago. Authorities, however, are not sure how either man died, or what caused people to get sick.
The building has since been red-tagged, and the notice on the door says the boiler and gas appliances need fixing. Authorities say carbon monoxide thresholds are down since SoCal Gas shut off the gas.
Forty-five evacuated residents are in the care of the Red Cross. Dexter Boodram was among those were abruptly yanked from their homes.
“Terrible experience. They wanted us out right away, you know, like, everybody out,” he said.
The evacuated residents spent the night at Lafayette Park Gymnasium, and there’s no word on when they might return to their homes.
“I don’t know where we go from here, you know,” Boodram said.