Lonnie Wimmer was out at River Ridge Taphouse one Saturday night to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday when he noticed a few people had started acting a bit strange around the restaurant. Wimmer was with his wife, the Yadkin Country fire marshal, Ricky Leonard, and his wife. Wimmer realized that his vision was starting to blur and could feel a headache coming on as well.
The pair were well-known in the community, and when others began to come forward and admit that something was wrong, they immediately called the fire department for help.
People came up to us and they had headaches and were feeling nauseous,” Wimmer said. “Others were feeling intoxicated and had blurred vision.”
The restaurant was evacuated, and more than 30 people were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. The source of the carbon monoxide was the natural gas heating system that had malfunctioned. 100 diners were inside of the restaurant at the time, and while 16 people were taken to the hospital, everyone was released and deemed recovered.
You can’t see it, and you can’t smell it,” Jenna Edwards, the manager of the restaurant said. “We had no idea of what was going on.”
If it hadn’t have been for those quick-thinking firefighters, the story might not have ended on such a positive note.
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