Newton school cancels classes after 2 people overcome by CO

NEWTON, Mass. (AP/WPRI) — A Newton elementary school canceled classes for the day after two people were overcome by carbon monoxide.

The fire department says a school custodian and a contractor checking the heating system were overcome by fumes in the Franklin Elementary School’s boiler room at about 7:30 a.m. Friday and taken to a Boston hospital.

“They found a janitor staggering around outside the building and a report of a worker, somebody working on the boiler, inside the building in the basement,” said Newton Fire Department Chief Bruce Proia.

Firefighters searched the building and found no one else inside. Testing, however, showed unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in the building.

“It was very clear that we could not open the school, as soon as I got the message. So fortunately, we have an excellent reverse 911 system,” said Newton Superintendent David Fleishman.

The cause remains under investigation.

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