ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A gym packed with people getting started on their New Year's resolutions to get in shape is probably one of the last places you would expect to suffer from a health scare.
But it happened at a gym in Alexandria as at least a dozen people working out suffered from dizziness, nausea and blurred vision on the second day of 2016.
“I started getting lightheaded and I thought it was just the pre-workout actually kicking in,” said Al Cavitt.
What he describes next sounds like a scene in a horror movie.
“I looked over to my left and a gentleman literally just collapsed off of the machine,” Cavitt said.
It was Saturday morning and XSport Fitness was packed with people suffering from carbon monoxide.
“I hear my girlfriend yelling my name. As I turn around and look, she's literally falling back on the pillar and bracing herself to not fall all the way down on the floor,” Cavitt described. “At that time, it kind of like kicked in and I was like something is not right here and I look up and people were running by and it was kind of like pandemonium.”
“One medic unit that was on the scene from Arlington County had a carbon monoxide detector and identified that there were high levels of carbon monoxide in the building,” said Alexandria Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Dalton.
He said one reading registered at over 1,000 parts per million. A reading of 35 parts per million of carbon monoxide is considered hazardous.
“This was actually caused by the heaters for the pool water,” said Dalton. “They malfunctioned and the carbon monoxide was coming out into the building, which is still under investigation.“
"We were actually right by the front desk where they had the towels,” said Cavitt. “I grabbed two of the towels. Luckily, I put them over our faces and my first thought was get towards the exit, get to fresh air.”
Two people were transported to the hospital while five others took themselves to another hospital. Two more people checked into urgent care.
XSport Fitness was cited by the fire marshal for the incident.
We reached out to the gym for comment, but there was no response.