UWM dorm carbon monoxide leak; 12+ students assessed, treated

Students were evacuated from Cambridge Commons residence hall Monday night, Feb. 28 due to a carbon monoxide leak, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee officials said in a news release. More than a dozen were taken to area hospitals for assessment or treatment for carbon monoxide exposure.

University Housing staff became aware of the problem when students came to the front desk complaining of headaches, dizziness and other symptoms. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Police Department and Milwaukee Fire Department were contacted.

Firefighters assessed the building, determined there were elevated levels of carbon monoxide and ordered an evacuation around 10 p.m. The fire department eventually identified a boiler in the basement on the north end of the building as the probable source of the leak.

About 400 students moved temporarily from Cambridge Commons to RiverView residence hall. Others went to stay with friends in other residence halls or off campus.

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The boiler was shut down, and windows opened to provide ventilation.

CO leak detected at Cambridge Commons, Milwaukee (Credit: Incident Response)

By 5 a.m., Cambridge Commons residents were told that they could return to their residence hall. All Cambridge Commons residents have been given the option of moving to another residence hall if they have safety concerns, and those who live in the building’s north end will have to move while boiler repairs are being done. This is expected to take about a month.


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