Carbon monoxide poisoning at a Flagstaff lodge caused 28 people to go to the hospital Saturday morning, officials said. The incident occurred around 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the El Nathan Christian Camp, 3910 East El Paso Drive, in Flagstaff. A group of 37 people visiting from Phoenix were staying in one of the camp's 10-room lodges, said director Randy Salcido, who lives on the site.
Some time in the middle of the night, someone from the group turned both lodge heaters up to 85 degrees, Salcido said. People came to him later in the morning complaining of headaches.
The Flagstaff Fire Department went to inspect the site and found many exhibiting symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, said battalion chief Bob Orrill.
"When we were first dispatched, people could smell an odor," said Orrill. "People were ill and they smelled gas." Many members of the group, which included children, tested positive for carbon monoxide in their bloodstream, Orrill said. In total, 28 patients were taken to Flagstaff Medical Center -- seven by ambulance and 21 in private vehicles, accompanied by fire officials. One patient was classified as immediate, or in serious need of medical attention, and four as delayed.
There were no other groups staying in the camp at the time, Salcido said. Officials said it was unclear what may have been the carbon monoxide source. Fire officials and UniSource Energy Services, the gas company, tested the lodge for carbon monoxide levels but found negative readings inside the building. Salcido said they do not plan to close the camp.