Apartment Owner Promises Repairs After Carbon Monoxide Incident - WSPA.com

Apartment Owner Promises Repairs After Carbon Monoxide Incident

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The exact boundaries of each county are spelled out in state law. One of Union Counties borders is "a dead Spanish oak on the north bank of the Enoree river." The exact boundaries of each county are spelled out in state law. One of Union Counties borders is "a dead Spanish oak on the north bank of the Enoree river."
SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. -

There are 122 units at the Westgate Apartments in Spartanburg County, 16 in building “H”, and one where firefighters say they found a buildup of a potentially deadly gas.

On July 23, documents from the Westview-Fairforest Fire Department show levels of carbon monoxide at “45 parts per million” inside apartment H-92.

That’s a level high enough to trigger a firefighter’s alarm.

“We alarm at 35 parts per million so that's a concern for us.  Any CO is a concern because it's coming from somewhere and it's building up," said Fire Chief Scott Garrett.

The same report shows firefighters traced the source to “something in the mechanical closet”.  That’s where each apartment has a furnace and water heater that burn natural gas.

By design the carbon monoxide those appliances create should be vented through metal tubing attached to each.

The Spartanburg County Codes Inspector said the buildings, and much of that ventilation, is older than the codes department itself.  When the tenant in apartment H-92 called inspectors, they found the vent clogged with decades of dust and debris.

Codes department director Jerry Glover said his staff found another problem.

That utility closed lies behind a solid wood door with a single vent at the top.  Glover said a second vent closer to the floor would provide far better ventilation and his department told Westgate to install those vents in each of the 122 units.

Already there is a new tenant in apartment H-92 and that door has a new vent.  The apartment downstairs which has the same wooden door and the same style water heater, does not.

Westgate Apartments are owned by Gastonia, North Carolina based Southwood Realty.

Southwood CEO Gene Ratchford Jr., reached by phone, said his company will buy 65 new carbon monoxide detectors for the facility and that his company had spent “about 25 to 30 thousand dollars” on detectors at other Southwood properties.

He said the company will install the new vents in each unit.

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