The carbon monoxide alarms were turned off


Evergreen State College personnel turned off carbon monoxide alarms that sounded in an on-campus residence hours before a 21-year-old student died from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to State Patrol investigation findings into the man’s death.
Maintenance personnel silenced the alarms under the assumption they were faulty and there was no actual leak.
The carbon monoxide leak also hospitalized two female students, ages 19 and 20, and an Evergreen police officer who broke down the door and performed emergency CPR.
AdvertisingAccording to the report timeline, the carbon monoxide alarms began to sound shortly before 6 a.m. A resident called for maintenance personnel, and maintenance arrived shortly after to check the alarms.
The alarm panel was silenced around 8 a.m. About 40 minutes later, the alarms began sounding again.
Shortly after 9 a.m., Evergreen State employees removed the carbon monoxide devices from the bedrooms.
At 7 p.m., the security system supplier reinstalled and reset the carbon monoxide devices.
The alarm sounded 30 minutes later, and residential maintenance began checking for a possible carbon monoxide leak around 8 p.m.
The report stated Evergreen State employees and residence maintenance personnel had a lack of training about — or understanding of — the carbon monoxide alarm system.
“He connected with so many people at Evergreen and made a lot [of] friends along the way,” the obituary said.

The State Patrol’s investigation into the death of a 21-year-old student who died from carbon monoxide poisoning revealed that Evergreen State College staff had silenced carbon monoxide alarms in an on-campus residence just hours before the student’s death.

Early on December 1, the alarms went off. 11, at the Modular Apartments on campus in Olympia, the day Jonathan Rodriguez passed away. Because they thought the alarms were broken and there wasn’t a leak, maintenance staff turned them off.

The Patrol investigation found that “that mistaken assumption was one of several key contributors to this tragedy.”.

Patrol sent its report for additional review to the office of the Thurston County Prosecuting Attorney. According to spokesman Tara Tsehlana, the prosecutor’s office is analyzing the investigation materials to see if any criminal activity was involved. The review should be finished in two weeks.

In addition, an Evergreen police officer who broke down the door and administered emergency CPR as well as two female students, ages 19 and 20, were hospitalized due to the carbon monoxide leak.

The investigation’s conclusions state that the leak happened because the unit’s new tankless water heater’s air intake and exhaust venting were installed incorrectly. The report states that a week prior to Rodriguez’s passing, the water heater was installed by a “outside vendor.”.


The carbon monoxide alarms started to sound just before six in the morning, based on the report timeline. me. Maintenance personnel responded to a call from a resident and quickly arrived to check the alarms. An hour or so later, someone called the supervisor. The manager tried to clean the equipment while opening the doors and windows. The inhabitants had returned to the apartment by this time.

Around eight in the morning, the alarm panel was silenced. m. The alarms started going off again about forty minutes later. When the security system provider showed up, he suggested cleaning the equipment. The alarm panel was repeatedly reset and turned off.

A little after nine in the morning. me. The carbon monoxide detectors were taken out of the bedrooms by Evergreen State personnel. Around 10 a.m., a device that was left in a different room started to ring once more. M. We turned off that alarm. The doors and windows were shut.

Around 7 p.m. M. the carbon monoxide detectors were reset and reinstalled by the security system provider. About 8:00 p.m., after the alarm went off thirty minutes later, residential maintenance started looking for a potential carbon monoxide leak. me.

Shortly after, maintenance personnel reported to dispatch that they had seen two individuals in distress; the police and fire department were notified.

The water heater’s exhaust and intake venting were not installed in accordance with the National Fuel Gas Code, according to forensic engineering services from Texas that WSP hired.


The utility room and one of the bedrooms were found to have carbon monoxide concentrations above 4,000 and 1,000 parts per million, respectively.

People can pass away in an hour following 20 minutes of exposure to 800 ppm or more. A person can become unconscious within 15 minutes of exposure to 3,200 ppm, and symptoms start to appear in just a few minutes.

The carbon monoxide alarm system was not adequately understood or trained for by Evergreen State staff members or home maintenance staff, according to the report.

Evergreen President John Carmichael stated in a press release that the college is implementing “many steps” to guarantee student safety, such as enhancing alarm response protocols and incident detection training.

Following Rodriguez’s passing, every student residing in a propane-powered Modular Apartment was relocated to an apartment on campus or to a nearby privately owned building that the college had secured. The college’s board of trustees approved the expenditure of $1 million to address housing facility issues after inspecting every student housing building.

According to his obituary, Rodriguez is survived by his parents and two brothers. This spring was going to be his graduation.

As per the obituary, “He formed numerous friendships and connected with a great deal of people at Evergreen.”. Among the many people he tenderly loved and cared for was his partner Abigail. Jon was full of excitement about his future aspirations, both personal and professional. “.

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