LOCAL NEWS

Sheriff cautions about carbon monoxide after weekend scare at Sevier County church

Jan 2, 2024, 10:44 PM | Updated: Jan 3, 2024, 7:51 am

MONROE, Sevier County — First responders were urging everyone Tuesday to maintain their furnaces and detectors following a carbon monoxide scare at a church that sickened more than 50 people.

“Some of those symptoms may just be, ‘Hey, I’ve got a cold,’” warned Sevier County Sheriff Nathan Curtis. “It comes on quick and if you’re not paying attention to it and don’t get care, you may not wake up.”

Those words followed a situation that unfolded over several hours Sunday in the town of Monroe.

According to a statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 54 people reported symptoms and 49 received treatment after first responders detected “higher” levels of carbon monoxide in the Monroe East meetinghouse.

“The Church is taking this matter seriously and is investigating the cause of the malfunction with the heating system,” the statement read. “The meetinghouse will remain closed until we can ensure the safety of the building. The Church is working to support medical and other expenses for those affected. We are concerned and are praying for their recovery.”

Curtis acknowledged the problem wasn’t immediately identified as carbon monoxide. Officials said the first call came in about a 4-year-old girl who was having breathing problems but had been sick earlier in the week.

A church in Monroe Utah exposed people inside to carbon monoxide sickening more than 50 and sending many of those to area hospitals. (Andrew Adams, KSL TV)

An hour later, crews responded to the church again about a man who was sick but believed he was having issues related to low blood sugar.

“The ambulance showed up again and I’m like, ‘OK, that’s even getting weirder,’” said Clint Wirick, who then learned his daughter and wife were also potentially exhibiting symptoms.

“(My 4-year-old daughter) just kind of grabbed her head and said, ‘I have a headache, dad,’” Wirick said. “My wife was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got a migraine — let’s go home.’”

When Wirick got home, he called dispatch about the issues, saying he suspected a carbon monoxide problem. Once firefighters detected the elevated levels of carbon monoxide, crews evacuated the building.

The Sevier County Sheriff’s Office said later in the evening a number of people showed up at Sevier Valley Hospital for treatment. Officials said 22 individuals required transport to out-of-area hospitals for hyperbaric treatments, taxing the county’s ambulance resources.

“We’d never had anything that big that happened before with that many people coming into the emergency room, needing medical care all at once, so it was a huge tax on our local services,” Curtis said. “It’s New Year’s Eve, 8 or 10 at night, and we’re trying to get enough people to do that and cover it.”

Curtis said he was grateful for the assistance of first-responders from Piute County EMS and Gunnison Valley Hospital ambulance to help meet the demand.

He urged people to maintain their furnaces properly and to ensure that carbon monoxide detectors were working, noting a problem could surface anywhere.

“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of it at a church,” Curtis acknowledged.

Wirick said he was grateful his call helped to alert authorities about the issue.

“I just felt like I was using common sense,” Wirick said. “A lot of people could have been sick and not known what it was and maybe had much worse complications to that poisoning.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

...

Mark Jones

A Code Blue alert issued in Salt Lake County for Sunday night

A Code Blue alert has been issued for Salt Lake County for Sunday night as temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s.

8 minutes ago

Singer and Actress Kristin Chenoweth, right, and Mary-Mitchell Campbell perform during RootsTech at...

Collin Leonard, KSL.com

RootsTech: A ‘wicked’ Broadway finale, plus message from late church Apostle M. Russell Ballard

On the final day of the RootsTech 2024 conference, attendees braved a windstorm to listen to Broadway actor Kristin Chenoweth speak about faith, family and her experience as an adopted child.

2 hours ago

Show in Smithfield...

Mary Culbertson

Winter storm alert still active for central and northern Utah, caution advised

Utah saw the forces of dangerous winds on Saturday, but meteorologists say the caution should continue into Sunday.

3 hours ago

lights on top of a police vehicle in the dark...

Mary Culbertson

1 teen critical after gun fired in McDonald’s parking lot

One teenager is in critical condition after a gun went off inside a car, hitting the teen.

6 hours ago

Nikki Haley joins Sunday Edition to share her vision and values, principles and policies with the v...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley joins Sunday Edition to share her vision and values, principles and policies with the voters of Utah ahead of Super Tuesday.

7 hours ago

A photo of a tree blown over in a park in a Nephi from high winds on March 2, 2024, (Craig Oswald)...

Brianna Chavez

Strong winds leave behind damage across Utah

From uprooted trees to flying trampolines, most of the state experienced strong wind gusts that left behind damage for many.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Sheriff cautions about carbon monoxide after weekend scare at Sevier County church