STOW: Crews from 10 fire departments treated dozens of patrons and customers affected Thursday by a carbon monoxide problem at the Sto-Kent Family Entertainment bowling alley.
Stow Fire Capt. Mark Stone said the first indication of a problem came at 11:40 a.m., when someone called to say a woman had passed out.
By the time firefighters arrived, Stone said, the woman, who was part of a senior bowling league, had been revived.
A check of the carbon monoxide levels inside the bowling alley revealed 350 parts per million, Stone said. A level of 15 parts per million is considered acceptable.
Stow fire officials determined faulty heating equipment caused the elevated carbon monoxide levels, Stone said.
Attempts to reach management at the bowling alley were unsuccessful Thursday evening. Postings on its Facebook page indicated the business could reopen soon.
“We have wonderful experts working hard to get our building ready to go for the weekend. … [P]lease remember that we are always working hard to keep our customers safe and happy. This is a scary unexpected event. We will be praying for those still hospitalized.”
A triage area was set up outside the bowling alley to evaluate the 85 to 90 people who were inside at the time. Ambulances transported 26 people to area hospitals, Stone said.
“We initially called for four ambulances, then realized we were going to exhaust our resources immediately,” he said.
It took about two hours before the last patients were transported from the scene, with the most seriously ill and the elderly transported first, Stone said.
Dean Thompson and his wife, Sandy, are members of the Stow Parks and Recreation senior bowling league and were in the middle of their third game when they began to feel dizzy.
“I didn’t have breakfast, so I thought that was it,” Sandy Thompson said.
Dean Thompson said that within a few minutes one of the partners on his team passed out.
“The fire department came and told everyone to go outside, that there was a high level of [carbon monoxide],” Sandy Thompson said. “The bowling alley and the fire department did a great job of evacuating everyone immediately.”
The couple said their carbon monoxide levels tested higher than normal and they were given oxygen by paramedics. They declined to be taken to the hospital.
Summa Health System hospitals across the region treated 12 patients who were transported by ambulances to emergency departments, spokesman Mike Bernstein said.
Six patients were taken to Akron City, two to St. Thomas, two to Barberton and two to Western Reserve hospitals, Bernstein said.
“We don’t believe any of them are in critical condition,” he said.
Akron General treated five patients at its Stow emergency department and six in the ER on the main medical center campus in Akron, spokeswoman Amy Kilgore said.
Another patient was taken to Akron General’s ER in Bath Township, Stone said.
Those with more serious illness were taken to the main campus ER, Kilgore said. Some were admitted to the hospital.
Two patients were taken to the emergency room at the Cleveland Clinic Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center.
Nine fire departments assisted Stow with the injured: Munroe Falls, Kent, Hudson, Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge, Macedonia, Akron, Twinsburg and the Valley Fire District.
Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.