Hundreds of Students Out in the Cold, Sorta

Art Institute dorm evacuated after carbon monoxide leak

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCPhiladelphia.com
    Art Institute students lined up Monday to get some of their stuff.

    There was a rude awakening for some Art Institute of Philadelphia students Monday morning and they will be out of their homes for a couple days.

    A 17-story apartment building that houses Art Institute students was evacuated around 5:15 Monday because of a carbon monoxide leak, according to the school. Students, many wearing pajamas, were left out in the cold as officials inspected the structure.

    Students Out in the Cold After Gas Leak

    [PHI] Students Out in the Cold After Gas Leak
    After a gas leak was discovered, Art Institute students were evacuated Monday. They were left wondering how long they would be staying in hotels instead of their dorms. (Published Monday, Feb 1, 2010)

    Students were moved out of the building and to local shelters, said Philadelphia Fire Department Deputy Chief Joseph McGuire.

    "Heightened levels" of CO were found in the building located at 1346 Chestnut St., McGuire said.

    Heightened Levels of CO Found

    [PHI] Heightened Levels of CO Found
    Deputy Chief Joseph McGraw runs through the basic, preliminary information on the carbon monoxide leak in a high-rise housing students from the Art Institute of Philadelphia. The leak occurred Monday, Feb. 1, 2010. (Published Monday, Feb 1, 2010)

    One student was taken to a local hospital with some mild symptoms, according to the college.

    The evacuation -- in the heart of Center City -- caused traffic problems during the morning rush.

    It wasn't immediately made clear what caused the scare. Philadelphia's Department of Licenses and Inspections was examining the high-rise to try and locate the source of the leak.

    Inspectors should take at least two days to make sure the building is safe, according to Caries Mitch, Communications Director for the Arts Institute.

    "Student safety is our priority and The Art Institute of Philadelphia will not return students to the building until such time as we are assured by the city public safety officials and our landlord that the building is thoroughly inspected and safe for occupancy," said Mitch.

    The college scrambled to find temporary housing for the 552 students left out in the cold following the leak. The students were given vouchers to stay in local hotels while the dorm were inspected.

    Students lined up around the block Monday afternoon so they could briefly enter the building to grab some personal belongings from inside.

    The Olive Garden and Capital Grille restaurants located on the building's ground floor were closed while the building was inspected. Olive Garden reopened Monday night while the Capital Grille remained closed.