WALTHAM (CBS) — Five children and a woman were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes at a Waltham laundromat Sunday afternoon.

Waltham firefighters were called to Clear Water Laundromat on River Street for elevated CO levels shortly before 2 p.m.

Waltham firefighters at the scene of a carbon monoxide leak Sunday. (WBZ-TV)

Waltham firefighters at the scene of a carbon monoxide leak Sunday. (WBZ-TV)

“It’s very scary,” Lori McLaughlin, who works next door at Salon Excellence, said.

Deputy Chief Anthony Capello said an adult female in her 30’s, along with the five children all under the age of 10, were found to have elevated CO levels. They were transported to a local hospital and are expected to be okay.

The woman and children were among a dozen people inside the business when the leak occurred. Those remaining were allowed to go back inside about 40 minutes later.

Fire officials said they are looking at the venting of both the building’s heating system and laundromat dryers as a potential source.

There are carbon monoxide detectors in the building. According to Deputy Chief Capello, fire department devices recorded CO in the laundromat at 35 parts per million. Anything over 9 is serious. The levels are now back in a safe range.

“If the levels are high and we’ve been working with that environment, health-wise it could affect a lot of us. There are 12 of us that work there,” McLaughlin said.

The power to Clear Water Laundromat and other businesses was temporarily shut off, but has now been restored. The laundromat is closed, as plumbers and gas company workers join firefighters in determining a cause of the CO leak.

“With kids it’s very scary because you don’t know if it will affect them developmentally or what’s going on. Glad they made it out and hopefully that’s the worst case,” McLauglin added.



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