Floor Buffer Believed to Have Caused Carbon Monoxide Alert at WalMart
store evacuated for several hours
What started out as a routine return at the WalMart on Kent Road ended with the store being evacuated for several hours and several local fire departments responding after a Carbon Monoxide scare.
According to Michael G. Johnston Jr. an inspector with the Howell Fire Bureau, at approximately 8:20 on Wednesday morning a call came in about a carbon monoxide detector going off in the building.
Johnston said a customer had come in to return a faulty detector and when they tested several possible replacements each was triggered, leading store employees to call the police. When they arrived a high level of the gas was detected leading authorities to evacuate the building and blocking off the parking lot from any oncoming traffic.
As the store was closed and evacuated motorists passing by were blocked from entering the parking lot. That also included delivery trucks who were left to park on the side of the road waiting to gain entrance to the building.
The source of the gas is believed to be a propane powered floor buffer that was used during the overnight cleaning. Once the store was evacuated the ventilation process began and by around 11 a.m. employees were being let back in the building followed by customers.
None of the approximately 30 customers in the store at the time of the alarm, or employees complained of any problems as a result of the gas, but medical personnel were on the scene providing water and other assistance for those sitting outside in the heat during the two hour process.
Other reporting agencies included the Southard, Freewood Acres, and Adelphia fire companies as well as mutual aid from the Lakewood Fire Department. The Howell Police Department was also on the scene providing assistance. A crew from New Jersey Natural Gas was also on the scene as well.