Carbon Monoxide Spikes at Columbia Nordstrom
A malfunctioning boiler was the cause, according to the fire department. The store opening was delayed but no injuries were reported.
High carbon monixide levels at the Nordstrom in Columbia Sunday morning prompted firefighters to ventilate the store and evaluate an employee for medical reasons, according to the fire department.
Nordstrom employees at The Mall in Columbia called 911 after smelling a strange odor around 9:30 a.m., according to Battalion Chief Gordon Wallace.
Approximately 30 fire and rescue personnel arrived and determined that a boiler in the tailor shop, which operated the steam presses, had malfunctioned, said Wallace, spokesman for the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS).
The malfunction "created high levels of carbon monoxide" in the store, which was not open at the time, said Wallace.
High levels of carbon monoxide, which is produced when fuel is burned, can cause faintness, nausea and even death.
Employees evacuated the store before the fire department arrived, and HCDFRS said one Nordstrom employee was evaluated on scene but did not request further medical attention.
Initially, HCDFRS requested an airboat to help ventilate the store but crews called it off after finding their fans were sufficient. "It was a small boiler," said Wallace.
The situation was under control by 11 to 11:30 a.m., said Wallace, who told Patch that Nordstrom is currently safe but delayed its standard Sunday opening time of 11 a.m. by about an hour.