• Churches not required to have carbon monoxide detectors

    By: Sarah Rosario


    Contractors were at Shiloh Institutional Baptist Church Monday where six people got sick from carbon monoxide this weekend.
    Churches are not required to have carbon monoxide detectors.
    But Eyewitness News spoke to several people, including a lawmaker, hoping for changes soon.
    The parking lot at Shiloh Institutional Baptist Church has been empty since Saturday.
    Even Sunday services were canceled because of the carbon monoxide leak there this weekend.
    On Saturday, church members rehearsing for a play got sick from the carbon monoxide leak.
    Neighbors said they were shocked to learn churches aren't required to have carbon monoxide detectors.

    Firefighters called to the scene found abnormally high, potentially deadly levels of the gas. 
    Of the 15 people treated, six were taken to the hospital.        
     “This is absolutely reason for concern," said Mark Basnight with the Charlotte Fire Department.
    Basnight said churches shouldn't wait for lawmakers to make a decision before having detectors installed.
    "This sound can save your life," said Basnight referring to the detector's alarm.
    "It’s certainly something we need to have a conversation" , state Rep. Becky Carney, D-Mecklenburg, said in a phone interview.
    Carney was instrumental in passing the regulatory reform bill in October that requires hotels to have the detectors. This was in the wake of three people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning in the same Boone hotel room. Although the bill doesn't include churches, Carney said if enough lawmakers are for it, the bill could be amended this session.
    “The conversation could be since there are already laws on the books dealing with carbon monoxide detectors, we can amend any laws already passed," said Carney.
    Church leaders said once the heating unit is fixed, their first order of business will be to get a carbon monoxide detector.  
    A representative from the State Board of Examiners will meet with church leaders Tuesday at 1 p.m.
    The church service on Wednesday will likely be canceled unless the examiner says it’s OK.
    Church leaders are hopeful they'll have services on Sunday.

    Read past coverage here.

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