Five people were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries on Monday following a carbon monoxide emergency in Buhl - in an apartment above Billy’s Bar.

The affected people were a family of four, the bar owner and a sixth person, an employee, who was treated at the scene, said Buhl Fire Chief Josh McDowell.

“This could have been a lot worse,” McDowell said. “We’re very fortunate.”

McDowell described how the family, including two children under 10 years old, grew sick sometime after sunrise and were unable to walk without assistance.

They called the owner, who arrived with the other worker, and realized the extent of the situation, McDowell said. They started opening windows to air out the apartment and called 911. St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office deputies were the first on scene and immediately began assisting in the evacuation of the apartment. Several other agencies arrived, too, transporting the family and bar owner to hospitals in Hibbing and Virginia.

“Everybody is expected to make a full recovery,” McDowell said.

The fire chief said a boiler in the bar, located at 124 State St., was malfunctioning and releasing deadly, odorless gas.

The Virginia and Hibbing fire departments and ambulance services and Chisholm Ambulance converged on the scene as well as a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer.

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