Some express concern about carbon monoxide levels in Durham housing complex

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — People who live in Durham’s McDougald Terrace want to know why multiple residents have been exposed to carbon monoxide.

Some frustrated neighbors took their concerns straight to the Durham Housing Authority Monday night. 

Over the past month, the housing authority says it’s received reports of 10 people with elevated carbon monoxide levels at the public housing complex. Three of those were identified during emergency inspections, which were completed Monday.  

Dreka Burnette worries about carbon monoxide in her complex after the recent reports.

“I do stay outside, try to stay outside the whole day, just come in when it’s time to go to bed,” she said.

Anthony Scott, the CEO of the Durham Housing Authority, says inspectors found six apartments with elevated levels of carbon monoxide and 13 gas leaks, but says the carbon monoxide exposures can’t be traced to a single source.

“I heard a variety of different issues,” Scott said, “People saying they are using their stoves because they are not satisfied with the heaters. There was some concern that maybe a gas pilot was out.”

Rachel Cordero doesn’t live in McDougald Terrace but says she’s concerned about people who do.

“They are not living in safe conditions,” she said.

CBS 17 asked Scott how he would respond to residents who feel they’re in danger.  

“That’s why we immediately took the action that we did,” he said.  

In addition to repairing issues found during inspections, he says crews replaced or installed hundreds of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Residents said firefighters also worked to educate them about carbon monoxide.

Burnette says even though her apartment showed low levels of carbon monoxide, she fears her open door threw off the readings and says she’s still concerned.

“How can you test my house for levels if my door’s just been open all day?” she wondered.  

Scott says he’s confident residents are safe.

“As far as everything we’ve seen,  all the work we’ve done with our emergency services,  we think people are safe to be in their homes,” he said.

The Durham Housing Authority will hold a meeting with the residents of McDougald Terrace to discuss the issue Thursday at 2 pm at Burton Elementary School.  

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