EDUCATION & SCHOOLS

Potentially 45 preschoolers and 10 adults exposed to carbon monoxide at American Prep Academy

Nov 29, 2023, 9:24 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2023, 2:37 pm

DRAPER — Potentially 45 toddlers and 10 adults were exposed to carbon monoxide at American Preparatory Academy in Draper on Wednesday, the Draper City Fire Department said. Nine kids and five adults were taken to the hospital.

Captain Michael Shanahan with DCFS said a 911 call was made at 3:40 p.m. from the preschool wing of the elementary campus, located at 12892 Pony Express Rd.

When the department arrived, all the staff met outside and said they had kids and staff who complained of nausea and vomiting, which are the first symptoms of CO poisoning.

Shanahan said that a hazmat team was sent inside the building and confirmed it was CO.

Most of the people who went to the hospital did so in personal vehicles, he said. Intermountain Medical Center said Wednesday night that they were on ‘non-trauma divert’ after the increase in carbon monoxide patients, which means that the hospital was sending non-trauma patients to other locations.

DCFD said the incident was caused by a contractor doing maintenance inside the building with gas-powered equipment and the fumes got into the school.

The children in the facility who were exposed were between ages two and five years old.

The administration of the academy issued the following statement on Wednesday evening:

At 4 pm today we discovered a carbon monoxide build-up at our Early Learning Center/District Offices, so we immediately evacuated the building.  The fire department responded promptly and found elevated levels of CO in the building. Under the direction of the Fire Department, the HVAC systems were shut down and the building was vented to reduce the levels.
Once the levels were down, the HVAC systems were restarted and left to run for several hours, during which time fire officials monitored CO levels.  No increase in CO was found and the Draper City Fire Marshall has indicated that the school building itself is safe. Evidently, the exposure was from an outside, temporary source.  The CO detectors in the building were tested and found to be operational.  In addition, out of an abundance of caution, we have purchased individual CO detectors that will be placed in each room for tomorrow.
Everyone at APA is greatly appreciative for the prompt and professional response of both state and city fire officials. We also thank the medical professionals at IMC for their caring assistance.

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Potentially 45 preschoolers and 10 adults exposed to carbon monoxide at American Prep Academy