Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center evacuated due to high carbon monoxide levels

Apr. 18—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — The Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center in Richland Township was evacuated Thursday due to high carbon monoxide levels.

A backup generator had been running overnight because of a storm-related power loss late Wednesday, Richland Township Fire Department Chief Wes Meyers said.

The generator didn't vent properly, emitting carbon monoxide to both floors of the building, he said.

A carbon monoxide alarm sounded Thursday with school in session. High school vocational-education students and school staff evacuated. On the first floor, staff of Learning Lamp day care and preschool evacuated the nearly 50 children enrolled in the program.

Meyers said firefighters arrived to find carbon monoxide readings at 15 to 20 parts per million on the first floor and 170 parts per million on the second floor.

No students or faculty of the school complained of sickness, Meyers said. All students at the career and technology center, located at 445 Schoolhouse Road, were transported by school bus back to their school districts of residence, and parents arrived to pick up children from day care.

Firefighters entered the building to vent each section.

The Cambria County Emergency Management Agency provided a vent truck. A hose attached to the truck was threaded through the building to produce positive pressure ventilation, pushing carbon monoxide out of the building, Cambria County EMA coordinator Art Martynuska said.

Martynuska said school officials executed the evacuation smoothly.

"School officials were on top of it," he said. "That's a sign of good planning."