A carbon monoxide scare at a duplex in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood on Sunday evening sent 14 people to the hospital but the incident has been deemed a false alarm, a fire department spokeswoman said today.

Authorities responded around 7 p.m. Sunday to a unit at 1223 Cortland Ave., where a couple of people had reported feeling ill and said that a carbon monoxide detector had sounded, fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said.

Crews eventually determined that a smoke detector had sounded, rather than a carbon monoxide detector, Talmadge said.

While some of the 14 people hospitalized had elevated levels of carbon monoxide in their bloodstream, none had severe levels, she said.

After more than four hours of investigation by PG&E, the fire department and the city’s Department of Public Health, authorities concluded that there was no carbon monoxide leak at the apartment, according to Talmadge.

She said elevated levels of carbon monoxide can show up sometimes in blood tests for cigarette smokers, and that cigarettes were likely the cause of Sunday’s false alarm.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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