Officials: 1 dead, over a dozen evacuated in Southwest Philadelphia carbon monoxide leak

A Philadelphia apartment building was evacuated for high carbon monoxide levels after authorities say a man was found dead inside his apartment. 

Emergency crews were called to the 4700 block of Chester Avenue around 3:30 p.m. for reports of an unresponsive tenant. 

High levels of carbon monoxide were later discovered by firefighters which prompted the evacuation of over a dozen residence. Deputy Fire Chief Charles Johnson said once crews checked the building, they had carbon monoxide readings as high as 275 parts per million.

A fire official told reporters the deceased victim's boss came to check on him after he didn't show up to his job at Gables Bed and Breakfast. The owner of Gables Bed and Breakfast, Cesar Gonzales, said he is traumatized and that the deceased victim was one of his best employees who had worked at the bed and breakfast for more than 30 years. 


Other evacuated tenants reported feeling sick, and at least one went to the hospital on Monday. 

Resident Samuel Hunter was in the building, but he says he had no idea about the leak as fire officials say there were no carbon monoxide alarms activated.

"I was in apartment the whole time," said Hunter. "A man passed away, I didn't smell anything, I didn't feel too weak. All I know is he passed away." 

Fire investigators did not report the possible source of the leak immediately following the incident. They are advising everyone to have working carbon monoxide detectors on every level of their homes. 

"You want them near heat sources, but you also want them near where you're going to be sleeping, so if it activates, you'll have time to get out," said Deputy Chief Johnson.