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Madison fire truck

An East Side apartment dweller was sickened by exhaust fumes coming from a damaged water heater Wednesday night, with firefighters evacuating the building until the problem could be resolved.

The incident happened at about 8:30 p.m. in an apartment building in the 100 block of Division Street, the Madison Fire Department said.

The resident who complained of nausea said the carbon monoxide detector went off in her apartment, so she opened windows.

"Firefighters entered the building and detected low levels of CO on their air monitors, as they explored the main hallway and the apartment," said spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster. "Other building occupants were prompted to evacuate until the matter could be investigated and resolved."

Madison Gas and Electric responded to the call as well, with a technician finding damage to a water heater that was sending exhaust into the furnace room instead of outside the building.

The gas line was capped and the water heater taken out of service.

Residents returned to their homes and nobody had to be transported to the hospital.

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