ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – The Starbucks in downtown Royal Oak was evacuated Monday due to a carbon monoxide leak.
Officials said one woman was taken to a local hospital as a result of the incident in the building that houses the busy coffee shop, at the corner of Main and Third Street.
Royal Oak Fire Lt. Craig Strauss said dangerous levels of co2 were detected in several connected businesses which also had to be closed. This includes Ameristar, located on the floor above Starbucks where carbon monoxide detectors went off around 3 p.m.
The woman taken to the hospital suffered symptoms related to carbon monoxide exposure. Fire officials said other people may have been affected by the leak, but they declined to go to the hospital.
“I talked to another man who works in the office upstairs in this building. He says he didn’t know why he wasn’t feeling good and now he does,” WWJ’s Sandra McNeill reported. “He was given oxygen on the scene and he is fine. The headache that he got has gone away.”
Strauss said investigators believe a construction crew working in the basement of the building was responsible for the leak, which is believed to have come from a piece of equipment that wasn’t rigged up properly.
“It’s a deadly, odorless, colorless gas,” Strauss said. “Without the detection system it can absolutely kill you.”
As of 5 p.m., police and fire remained on the scene working to air out the building. The public is being asked to avoid the area.
Strauss said it’s a good thing that Starbucks had a carbon monoxide detector installed or the situation could have been much worse. Fire crews are taking precautions as co2 exposure can be lethal.
“We’re not taking any chances with this stuff,” Strauss said. “Over the course of your career you get exposed to so many things and it accumulates, and our guys are going to wear breathing apparatus if they’re going to go into the building.”
It’s unclear at this time when Starbucks will reopen.