10 people at Indiana Twp. group home checked out after fumes fill building
Ten people at an Indiana Township group home for youths were taken for evaluation and released Thursday night after apparently being affected by fumes.
Allegheny County spokeswoman Amie Downs said someone called 911 from the Western Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge campus off of Lefever Hill Road reporting that people were feeling ill due to possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
Rural Ridge Volunteer Fire Company Capt. Matthew Pavlik said 22 people at the facility complained that they felt sick. Of those, 10 who had headaches were taken to hospitals for evaluation, five to Allegheny Valley in Harrison and five to UPMC St. Margaret near Aspinwall.
He said the call came in at about 8:20 p.m. He said everyone at the facility was standing outside when the first crews arrived.
Teen Challenge Marketing Director Steve Thurston confirmed Friday that 10 people were taken to local hospitals, but only one had “fallen ill from minor carbon monoxide.”
He said all 10 were released within 45 minutes of arriving at the hospitals without any issues.
“It was more for a precautionary aspect (requested by) the paramedics,” Thurston said.
He said the Indiana Township facility houses about 20 adults and no juveniles.
Pavlik said workers were in the basement cutting the floor with a gas-powered saw. They attempted to ventilate the fumes but their efforts apparently were not enough.
He said the fire company took readings for carbon monoxide but found none in the building.
Those not affected were allowed to return to the facility.
According to its website, the Teen Challenge campus in Indiana Township is part of an addiction counseling program — Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge, based in Rehrersburg, Berks County.
It provides care to teens age 18 or older and adults struggling with addiction.
Services include a short-term clinical program with an average stay of 30 days and a long-term, faith-centered program for treatment of substance abuse and mental health issues.