Multiple residents of a senior-citizen complex in Hempstead are transported...

Multiple residents of a senior-citizen complex in Hempstead are transported to area hospitals after a carbon-monoxide scare. (Jan. 15, 2011) Credit: Lou Minutoli

Five people from a Village of Hempstead senior living center were taken to a hospital Saturday after they complained of symptoms of exposure to carbon monoxide.

None of the people from General Douglas MacArthur Senior Village were in serious condition, and authorities suspected a venting issue with a furnace to be the culprit, said Vincent McManus, a division supervisor with the Nassau County Fire Marshal's Office.

The three-story building at 260 Clinton St. has 144 units and 133 residents. It is operated by the village's Housing Authority. No one there could immediately be reached.

Carbon monoxide alarms had gone off, said Lt. Francis McNamee of Hempstead village police. The Hempstead fire department arrived at 8:11 a.m., and five residents who reported feeling weak were taken to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

"Nobody was seriously ill," McNamee said.

Authorities turned off the heat to fix the furnace and moved residents to areas that did not have elevated levels of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas.

An investigation showed that a resident of the building went to the hospital Friday with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, McManus said.

Multiple residents of a senior-citizen complex in Hempstead were transported...

Multiple residents of a senior-citizen complex in Hempstead were transported to area hospitals after a carbon-monoxide scare(Jan. 15, 2011) Credit: Lou Minutoli

McManus said there were readings of 170 parts per million inside the building. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, people can start to notice symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning at 70 parts per million.

Residents had reported carbon monoxide detectors going off, but many turned them off because they had become a nuisance, McManus said.

"They took the batteries out," McManus said. "People don't take it as seriously as a smoke detector."

Hospitalized residents had began to return home Saturday afternoon, said residents who didn't want to be identified. Residents were back in their apartments last night and the heat was working, police said.

Latest videos