Miami University dorms evacuated Thursday after carbon monoxide detected

Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 4:38 PM EST
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OXFORD, Ohio (WXIX) - More than 250 Miami University students had to be evacuated from Hillcrest Hall on Thursday after

A student’s personal carbon monoxide alarm is what detected the odorless and colorless gas

Sophomore Jack Niehaus says he was in his dorm room when his detector suddenly went off.

“I had actually texted Michael and told him, ‘you know, I’m feeling kind of light-headed, feeling like I got to pass out,’ Niehaus recalled. “I opened a window just to try and keep it open, and he [Michael Shock, Niehaus roommate] said, ‘maybe you should call someone about that.’ Right as I got that text, that’s when the alarm started going off, and that’s when I called the university police and they came out, and as soon as they turned their detector on, it lit right up and gave them a reading of 90 and eventually when they went back downstairs they were getting readings of 200.”

The Oxford Fire Department arrived to investigate.

The source of carbon monoxide could not be found in time for students to get back in that night, so they were placed in temporary rooms.

The source of the carbon monoxide was ultimately identified as exhaust from a water heater, according to the university.

The exhaust was pulled back into the building from outside through small openings in the structure of the building, which have been repaired.

School officials said some students were sent to the hospital, but none were seriously hurt.

“We [Miami University] have installed temporary carbon monoxide detectors in Hillcrest Hall and in an abundance of caution are determining how best to install them in all halls as a permanent system,” the university said in a press release sent Friday.

The Oxford Fire Department tested the building multiple times and found no remaining carbon monoxide, according to Miami University.

All the students who were evacuated are now allowed to return to Hillcrest Hall.

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