Fort Bragg officials say removing laundry room doors solves carbon monoxide problem

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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — CBS 17 is getting answers from Fort Bragg officials after high levels of carbon monoxide were found in two homes this month.

Fort Bragg officials say the problem has been fixed and the homes are safe.  

Thursday afternoon, officials showed CBS 17 the precautions they took for homes in the Pope neighborhood.

“We removed the (laundry) door,” Public Affairs Officer Tom McCollum said. “It may sound like a very simple, easy fix but it’s extremely effective.”

McCollum says two homes with elevated levels of carbon monoxide had similar situations.

The air vents were blocked or dirty, the laundry room door was shut, laundry was running and the hot water tank was being used at the same time.

Testing was done at the homes, and they determined the solution was to take the laundry doors off of 88 similar homes to open up the airflow.

“A condition like this can happen in anyone’s home, so this is a lesson that goes well beyond Ft. Bragg,” McCollum said, adding that everyone should make sure their air filters are clean and that air intake ducts are open.

McCollum says the carbon monoxide detectors indicated higher levels in the two homes.  

After these incidents, officials also checked the detectors in the homes.

“Carbon monoxide detectors are maintained by the residents for changing batteries, but also Corvias is ultimately responsible for the operation.”

McCollum says one family was relocated.

“No one was hospitalized, one family went to Womack because of the symptoms, but they were released that same night.”

Residents have reported issues with on-post housing recently, including problems with mold and air quality. 

Officials have created a plan to address those issues and complete maintenance requests faster.

Some public comments on Facebook blame housing management company Corvias and Fort Bragg officials for the problems and say “these families could have died.” 

 “A lot of people have the perception that we really don’t care, but that is about as far from the truth as possible,” McCollum said. “They signed the contract to defend this country, and it’s our duty and responsibility to take care of them and their families.”

If Fort Bragg residents have concerns with their homes, they’re asked to submit maintenance requests and contact Corvias. 

Corvias has not provided any additional comment.

The HVAC units in the homes have not been replaced as the original release said. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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