Durham Housing Authority releases results from carbon monoxide inspections

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – On Thursday afternoon, the Durham Housing Authority held a community meeting at Burton Elementary to release the results from the carbon monoxide inspections at McDougald Terrace last week.

DHA held these inspections on December 27 after there were seven reports of carbon monoxide exposures in the last month at the public housing complex.

One of the cases was a child who tested positive for carbon monoxide poisoning.

At Thursday’s meeting, DHA CEO Anthony Scott told residents that during last week’s inspections they found that six of the apartments at McDougald Terrace had higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide.

Scott said that during their inspections, there were four more individuals that had elevated levels of carbon monoxide. Two of those individuals were taken to the hospital.

In addition, they also replaced the carbon monoxide detectors in 228 of the apartments at McDougald Terrace.

“Our immediate priority is to make sure that we conduct a thorough audit of the units that did report elevated levels prior to our inspection to rule out any further CO risks,” Scott said.

Scott said they will verify that no further leak is detected and that the carbon monoxide detectors are fully functional.

Scott took questions from some residents and many were in tears and angry about the recent carbon monoxide exposures at McDougald Terrace.

Some told Scott that the batteries in the carbon monoxide detectors they replaced weren’t working and they were having issues with appliances in their apartments.

Prior to the meeting, an entire group of McDougald Terrace residents marched from their apartments to the meeting at Burton Elementary.

Many of those residents said they don’t think that the Durham Housing Authority is doing enough to protect the people who live in McDougald Terrace.

“Today we’re just going to stand together as a community and let them know that the results that they have are unacceptable,” said Rachel Cordero. “We do not believe they would allow their children to live in these circumstances. We need immediate changes out here in McDougald.”

Scott told residents at the meeting that they are working on a three-year-plan to redevelop all of the public housing apartments in Durham, but he said this plan will take time.

“We’re focused on our immediate health and safety needs that we need to stabilize throughout our units,” Scott said.

DHA said they will be scheduling audits of the apartments that had elevated levels of carbon monoxide very soon.

In addition, they will be contacting federal and state agencies to assist with addressing these issues.

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