SASKATOON -- Mayor Charlie Clark says the City of Saskatoon must look at ways to keep people safe from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

It comes after nearly 50 residents, including several children, at an apartment building in the Greystone Heights Neighbourhood received medical attention after dangerously high levels of CO were detected in the building.

“It’s raising a lot of questions about, is there a risk that this could happen again and how do we prevent what could have been a tragedy in this case from potentially happening in the future and save lives,” Clark told CTV News.

The apartment complex at 12 Bateman Crescent did not have CO alarms installed at the time of the leak – and was not required to under the National Building Code, which only mandates the detectors for buildings constructed after 2009.

Clark said he has been talking to provincial ministers and working with Ward 8 city councillor Sarina Gersher to find out whether the city can implement stricter requirements when it comes to installing CO detectors.

Gersher will be bringing forward a notice of motion during city council’s meeting on Monday to have the city investigate what the current regulations are at the provincial-level and what further regulations could be put in place, according to Clark.

“The main goal in the end is to have stricter requirements to make sure that there are carbon monoxide detectors in places where people are sleeping and where carbon monoxide leaks could occur,” he said.

Cameron Choquette, CEO of the Saskatchewan Landlord Association, which represents over 50,000 units of rental housing throughout the province, said the Saskatoon apartment building leak was a “sober reminder of how important carbon monoxide alarms are to keep people safe in buildings of all shapes and sizes.”

Choquette said his association would support stricter regulations for CO alarms.

“Provided that there’s an adequate time period to adopt and comply with that legislation, and that the policy isn’t onerous or creates additional hardship for landlords or tenants over the coming years.”

Residents return home

Uzma Khan, along with her husband and two young daughters, returned to their apartment at 12 Bateman Crescent on Thursday night after being evacuated last week while repairs were being made to the boiler room.

According to Khan, the building got a new boiler and carbon monoxide detectors, but still, she feels unsafe.

“We want to go outside to a new building because we are too scared in this building,” said Khan, who has been living at the building for three and a half years.

Khan remembers getting a headache and feeling dizzy, adding that she is grateful Dr. Mark Wahba brought attention to the leak before it was too late.

Her nine-year-old daughter Asma echoed this, saying, “I really want to salute to the doctor. He did everything for us to save our lives, and for the paramedics and the nurses who saved our lives.”