Gas Leak Closes Center

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COLUMBIA - The Child Learning and Development Center on Corporate Place closed Friday after a carbon monoxide leak Thursday night.

Columbia Fire Department Fire Marshal Steven Sapp said his department responded to the center after it received a call from two of the managers. Sapp said the managers told the department the carbon monoxide detectors had gone off.

Emergency responders determined a furnace in one of the classrooms to be the cause of the leak. Officials told the managers to call a cooling and heating company to get the furnace fixed. Since the managers could not get it fixed Thursday night they closed the center Friday.  

"Had this been left to continue however, with doors open in the building and natural ventilation and such, certainly carbon monoxide could have spread throughout the entire building," Sapp said. "In this particular case, the good news is they had detection devices present."

Sapp said if the problem is fixed the center should open back up on Monday. He stressed the importance of carbon monoxide detectors.

"Carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms save lives," Sapp said. "If you have a fossil fuel burning appliance, gas, or kerosene in your home, we certainly advise you install carbon monoxide detectors."