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City inspectors find potential hazards following roofing repairs

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Amarillo, TX - A deadly gas could be leaking in the homes of a number of Amarillo residents following recent roofing repairs.

Fourteen thousand roofing permits have been issued in Amarillo since May's hailstorm causing a lot of roofing racket in recent months. But city inspectors are discovering something even more disturbing than all that banging, something that could be deadly. "We've inspected about 40 percent of the permits that we've issued and in inspecting those, one out of every three has a serious deficiency," said Scott McDonald, Building Official with the City of Amarillo.

Deficiencies such as ventilation pipes from hot water heaters and furnaces that have been bumped, bent or even broken. Broken pipes that could potentially allow carbon monoxide to leak into several thousand homes. "Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, typically makes people ill," explained McDonald.

"They want to lay down which can create larger problems like brain damage and even death." Roofing companies aren't actually required to go inside and check the vents themselves, that's why the city does its own inspections.

However, as it's become a growing problem more companies are taking it upon themselves to do it anyway. "Yes, we take it very seriously and we check the hot water heater and the heater vents on every job," said Chris Andrus, president of Andrus Brothers Roofing.

Andrus said this particular problem isn't necessarily caused by negligence by a roofing company and because it can happen to anyone, he said it's long been his company's policy to double check just in case. "The negligence would be not checking," added Andrus.

"Doing you responsibility and looking and making sure that it's still properly ventilated after the work is done." Because even one overlooked, misplaced pipe can turn a roofing repair into an irreversible nightmare. "We just don't want any accidents happening," said Andrus.

"But if you're not checking them and you don't know, it only takes once." "We want to make sure our citizens are protected," added McDonald.

There have been no reports of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of recent roofing repairs, only a few illnesses.

If you'd like more information on the city's inspections or on the code regarding carbon monoxide alarms, just visit their web site at amarillo.gov/roofing.

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