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Duluth Red Lobster evacuated after CO2 malfunction, back open for business

According to Duluth Fire, staff noticed an alarm indicating there was an issue with their CO2...
According to Duluth Fire, staff noticed an alarm indicating there was an issue with their CO2 system.(KBJR)
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 2:58 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 4:59 PM CST
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UPDATE 4:50 P.M. - According to Duluth Fire the restaurant re-opened for business shortly after 4:30 P.M.

According to a press release, repair technicians addressed the issue and deemed the building safe for normal operations.

One staff member also reported having headache-like symptoms following the leak.

No one else was injured.

DULUTH, MN. (KBJR) - Duluth Fire is monitoring carbon dioxide levels at the Duluth Red Lobster location Tuesday afternoon after a malfunction forced people inside the restaurant to evacuate.

It happened just before 1 p.m. at the Canal Park Red Lobster.

According to Duluth Fire, staff noticed an alarm indicating there was an issue with their CO2 system.

CO2 is used to carbonate soda and beer at the restaurant.

Staff then shut off the CO2 flow and quickly evacuated themselves and customers before the fire department arrived.

Duluth Fire leaders said because this is such a rare occurrence, they don’t have a specific way to monitor CO2 levels in the building so they are going off oxygen levels.

Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Edwards said, as of Tuesday afternoon, they were waiting for a maintenance crew to arrive.

Edwards said other businesses in the building should not be affected.

“We have building officials on the scene with our crew right now because we have shut off the HVAC to this space for Red Lobster. We have also alerted other tenants of the building, so everyone is aware of what is going on. But I am confident they are safe,” Asst. Chief Edwards said.

Edwards said he advised Red Lobster in Canal Park to close for the rest of the day until they can get the situation under control.

According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service, symptoms of mild CO2 exposure may include headache and drowsiness. At higher levels, rapid breathing, confusion, increased cardiac output, elevated blood pressure and increased arrhythmias may occur.

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