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An apartment building on Madison's South Side was forcibly evacuated by firefighters and police early Friday morning, after high carbon monoxide levels were discovered due to a car running in an underground parking garage.

Nobody was injured.

Firefighters were sent to the multi-unit apartment building at 4711 Jenewein Road at about 1:15 a.m. Friday. A carbon monoxide alarm had activated, but nobody was leaving the building.

"Handheld air monitors showed CO levels inside the building ranging from 40-60 parts per million inside apartments and up to 100 ppm in the second-floor hallway," said Madison Fire Department spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster.

Firefighters activated the building's fire alarm to get an evacuation moving along, but police also were called to assist.

"As residents found refuge in the apartment complex community room or in vehicles, one resident told firefighters a vehicle had been running for an extended period of time in the parking garage," Schuster said.

Security video showed the vehicle running and releasing exhaust for about an hour, and that is what caused the carbon monoxide buildup.

"Building managers realized the garage exhaust fan was not working," Schuster said.

Firefighters set up ventilation fans in the garage and apartment building, and those parking in the garage were told to park outside until the exhaust system was repaired.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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