1 hospitalized after carbon dioxide poisoning

Published 10:23am Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ROCHESTER — A Rochester bar employee is hospitalized after being overcome by carbon dioxide from the restaurant’s pop machine.

Authorities say 63-year-old Jerry Johnson was poisoned by the gas while working Monday morning at Rooster’s Barn and Grill.

Deputy Fire Chief Vance Swisher said employees at Rooster’s heard what sounded like something leaking. That’s when Johnson went downstairs to check it out.

Swisher said a carbonation machine that puts the fizz into the restaurant’s pop had malfunctioned and filled the basement with carbon dioxide.

Johnson collapsed when he went into the basement. A co-worker called 911. Restaurant patrons and employees tried to pull him out, but turned back because they couldn’t breathe. Firefighters had to use breathing tanks while inside the restaurant. Mayo Clinic says Johnson is in serious condition.