Updated: Two taken to hospital with apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in East Providence

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Two workers in a building on Newman Avenue in the Rumford section of the city were taken to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning Monday, Feb. 11.

The Post reported in an earlier story the building was evacuated due to carbon monoxide concerns. The building is shared by Shamrock Financial Corporation and University Surgical Associates.

Upon an initial inspection, East Providence Fire Department officials cleared the building and all employees were sent home.

Two workers from the medical company, located on the second floor of the structure, apparently took ill.

"When we arrived on scene a couple of people showed signs of CO exposure, so we transported them," Acting EPPD Chief Oscar Elmasian said. "We metered the building, but windows had been open. We were concerned about getting a false reading because of the ventilation."

The building remained closed for the day pending further inspection. The first floor of the building was deemed clear of any carbon monoxide fumes, but fire officials were taking all precautions. Another series of tests is slated to take place at the structure Tuesday morning, Feb. 12.

"We were going to wait a couple of hours then go back, but we didn't feel comfortable about doing that. So we decided to wait until tomorrow (Tuesday) to go back and do another test," Chief Elmasian added.

The chief acknowledged heavy, packed snow on rooftops from Winter Storm Nemo could considered a factor in the incident. The snow likely covered ventilation of the structure, causing carbon monoxide levels to rise. Similar occurrences have been reported around the area Monday.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.