Although a portion of the Beckley United Bank building reopened Tuesday, the entire facility will be closed again Wednesday.
At least eight people were transported to a local hospital Monday after they became sickened by leaking carbon monoxide (CO) gas.
Beckley Fire Capt. Mike Peck said Tuesday evening that Wednesday’s closure is a precautionary measure, as the new boiler will be fired up at 6 a.m. Fire crews will check a few hours later to ensure it is operating properly.
The fire department found the carbon monoxide levels acceptable Tuesday morning, according to Capt. Ed Wills, and upstairs tenants were allowed inside.
When fire crews arrived on the scene Monday, CO levels were reported at 700 parts per million. Any measurement above 100 parts per million is considered deadly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website states.
The entire six-story building was evacuated as crews aired out the odorless, tasteless toxic gas by opening lower-floor windows and doors and using large fans.
“The culprit proved to be the heating system in the newer portion of the building,” said Susan Landis, a tenant and executive director of the Beckley Area Foundation.
The heating system was replaced Tuesday, leaving the bank and offices in the new tower were without heat most of the day, she said.
Wills said the bank handed out carbon monoxide detectors to tenants and, every three hours, the fire department checked CO levels.
Monday, DF Mock, United’s Market President — South Market — assured depositors their money and security information were safe.
United has several other branches in Beckley and Raleigh County, including at Crossroad Mall and Sophia.