Carbon monoxide concerns continue at McDougald Terrace

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- A child was rushed to the hospital after being exposed to elevated levels of carbon monoxide at McDougald Terrace apartments.

Several people who live in the public housing complex maintained by the Durham Housing Authority have been hospitalized after exposure to the gas.

Resident Carolyn Mitchell said she was just starting to fall asleep when someone started banging at her door last week. Officials came in and tested her apartment for carbon monoxide, and said levels were high.

"It scared me," Mitchell said. "I hadn't picked up on it, but I noticed I was very sleepy."

Mitchell was sent to the hospital but said she has been feeling better.

"We need them (CO detectors) fixed," she said.

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The Durham Fire Department, EMS and the Housing Authority have been working in concert, checking apartments at McDougald Terrace.

Durham Housing Authority Executive Director Anthony Scott said officials have been going unit-by-unit to make sure residents are safe and that the detectors are properly working.

Resident Ashley Canady said conditions are unacceptable in the apartment complex.

Canady said a carbon monoxide detector was installed in her apartment while she was out of town on Christmas break. However, she said it was hanging on its side, and she had to bang on it a few times to latch it onto a screw.

"It's not safe," said Canady. "It's definitely not normal and it's not supposed to look like that, period."

She blamed the Housing Authority and city leaders.

"If you guys can come up with $10,000 to do sidewalks, you can come up with at least $10,000 to get the conditions in McDougald better," Canady said. "It seems like funding can be found for everything but the right stuff."

The Durham Housing Authority held its board meeting where residence continued to show their concern at McDougald Terrace.

Officials will hold an additional community meeting at 2 p.m. Thursday at Burton Elementary School.
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