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2 women from same Rogers Park building die; carbon monoxide leak investigated


Updated: January 28, 2013 5:29AM

Authorities were investigating whether a carbon monoxide leak in a Rogers Park apartment building led to two deaths there Sunday afternoon.

Paramedics were initially called to the five-unit apartment building in the 2500 block of North Shore Avenue at 10:39 a.m. to respond to a woman in cardiac arrest, Fire Media Affairs spokeswoman Meg Ahlheim said. They took that woman to Swedish Covenant Hospital in critical condition, Ahlheim said.

While at the building, they found another woman who was sick and she was taken to Swedish Covenant in serious condition.

Rasheeda Akhter, 77, and Zanib Ahmed, 18, were pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’ s office, which added that both lived at the building. Autopsies for Akhter and Ahmed are scheduled for Monday.

Crews took carbon monoxide meters into the building, but they found no reading of the gas in any of the units, Ahlheim said.

Emergency crews left but were called back to the building about 3:45 p.m. after reports that another woman had become unconscious, according to Ahlheim. She was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston in critical condition.

Again crews used carbon monoxide meters throughout the building and found no problems in any apartment unit. But the meters did register carbon monoxide readings next to a basement water tank, though not a significant amount that would have required evacuating the building, Ahlheim said.

Crews ventilated the building and called Peoples Gas to fix the boiler, Ahlheim said.

As of late Sunday, a second fatality had been reported from the same building, according to the medical examiner’s office, though further details were not immediately released.

Autopsies to determine the cause and manner of the deaths were scheduled for Monday.

Peoples Gas spokeswoman Jennifer Block confirmed the utility’s crews responded to the building, but she declined to comment further except to say that the utility was supporting police and fire officials in their investigation.

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