Business still closed in Manitowoc after carbon monoxide leak

Investigation into leak continues
Posted at 10:18 AM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 23:49:25-04
MANITOWOC, WI -- The investigation into what caused a carbon monoxide leak in a downtown Manitowoc building continues.

Meanwhile, one business remains closed while others are waiting for answers.

It's been three days since a carbon monoxide leak in Manitowoc sent seventeen people to area hospitals, four of whom had to undergo emergency treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

Fire Chief Todd Blaser says that the origin of the carbon monoxide leak seems to be a mechanical failure, but at this point it's still speculation.

On the ground floor, Susie Kay's Cafe still has closed signs in the windows. Upstairs, where several people were evacuated from their apartments after reporting nausea, rooms sit empty.

But next door, the Manitowoc County Republican Party headquarters is open after being closed Monday.
"It's the nerve center," says Party Chairman Don Zimmer, explaining why he needs to stay open this week, "it's where people come to get political yard signs from us. We've got an important task, and it gets busier as we get closer to the election." 
Zimmer says he and other property owners he's spoken with have yet to be told what caused the carbon monoxide leak, adding that, fortunately, no one was in the office Monday morning.
But it didn't stop him from calling the Fire Chief Tuesday when he started feeling sick inside the office.
"Nevertheless, they came over with measuring devices to see if there was any problem in this office," says Zimmer, "and they determined that there was not."
With the election just days away, Zimmer says his time in the space is almost up, and that his concern lies more with the permanent residents.
"And I have no idea what the nature of the problem is," adds Zimmer. 


The Manitowoc Fire Department says 17 people were taken to area hospitals for carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire crews were called the 1200 block of Washington Street around 9:15 AM for treatment related to carbon monoxide exposure. 

Most of the residents in the apartment complex were able to leave the building, however, one had to be rescued when they were found unresponsive by firefighters.

Investigators have closed the block in downtown Manitowoc which includes shops, a cafe and the Manitowoc County Republican Party office. WPS is working with crews to find out the cause. Those impacted by the incident are being helped by the Red Cross.



Fire departments in Manitowoc and Two Rivers are responding to what is being called a 'significant' carbon monoxide incident.

NBC26 has a crew on the way to the scene and we will update this story as new information becomes available.