Killer Gas Leak Empties Tenderloin Dwellers

Residents were allowed to return to a San Francisco apartment  building after a carbon monoxide leak Monday night that left one person dead  and eight people injured, according to the San Francisco Fire Department.

The incident was reported at about 7:45 p.m. at a five-story  apartment building at 816 Geary St., fire Lt. Ken Smith said.

He said a male victim was pronounced dead, one person was  critically injured and seven others sustained minor injuries.

About 50 residents were temporarily evacuated from the building  but were allowed to return to the building overnight, according to a fire  dispatcher.

Most residents said they would sleep with the windows open overnight.

A hazardous materials team responded to the leak and crews worked  to exhaust the fumes out of the building before letting residents back in,  Smith said.

The source of the leak was determined to be a water heater or  boiler, which was subsequently shut off, in the basement of the building,  according to Smith.

Residents said they heard the carbon monoxide detector going off for hours, but thought it was an alarm clock.

A carbon monoxide leak at the poolside recreation center of a  Cupertino apartment complex Monday afternoon hospitalized eight people,  including six firefighters and paramedics, according to a Santa Clara County  Fire Department battalion chief.

The incident occurred the same day as the San Francisaco leak.

The fire department received a medical call at about 3:15 p.m. at  the Cupertino City Center Apartments at 20380 Stevens Creek Blvd., according  to Battalion Chief Kendall Pearson.

Arriving firefighters and emergency crews found the man in the  bathroom of the poolside building, Pearson said.

As the crews were tending to the victim, "everyone looked at each  other and said 'Do you feel okay?' and everyone felt kind of sick and got out  to the clean air," Pearson said.

After taking the patient outside, the crews called in more  resources. A hazardous materials team from the San Jose Fire Department was  called in because the Santa Clara County hazmat team was busy with a  three-alarm fire in Morgan Hill, according to Pearson.

Eight people, including three firefighters and three paramedics,  were taken to three different hospitals to be treated for carbon monoxide  poisoning, Pearson said.

The three firefighters were treated and released, according to  Pearson, who was not sure about the condition of the other victims, including  the original patient and the man who called in the incident.

A preliminary investigation into the cause of the carbon monoxide  leak pointed to possibly faulty equipment, including a furnace and water  heater, in the mechanical room of the poolside building, Pearson said.

The incident caused authorities to shut down traffic on Torre  Avenue between Stevens Creek Boulevard and Rodrigues Avenue, according to  Pearson, who said the street was closed for about three hours.

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