Multiple people fell ill Thursday morning, July 11, 2019, after an unknown odor swept through a Charlotte office building. Charlotte Fire Department received an initial call around 11:30 a.m. for a person unconscious at the Regency Executive Park off Nations Ford Road. Firefighters with Charlotte Station arrived within minutes and discovered multiple people feeling effects of what was thought to be carbon monoxide poisoning.
The incident was upgraded to a hazardous materials response bringing in additional resources. Firefighters began a mass evacuation of multi-room office building. Fire officials say some occupants had difficulty evacuating from the upper floors of the building. A worker in the building Yolanda Cato said, "We heard a beeping noise, we didn't think anything of it." She added, "About an hour or so later we were all asked to immediately evacuate the building." She said paramedics responded to the building yesterday for a similar issue.
Fire officials confirmed later in the day that the source of the odor came from tar that was being laid on the roof by construction crews at the time. Fumes from the tar managed to make it into the building HVAC system. Mecklenburg EMS Agency (MEDIC) responded with multiple ambulances and two mass casualty buses due to the number of people feeling sick.
Fire officials confirm a total of 46 people were evaluated by paramedics at the scene. 5 people were transported from the scene to local hospitals. 3 people were taken to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, and 2 were taken to Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center - Pineville. A Mecklenburg EMS Agency (MEDIC) spokesperson says the 46 patients were treated for various conditions including nausea and headaches.