911 recordings from Allen Benedict Court: ’This the third unconscious call...at this location'

Nearly a month later, residents of Allen Benedict Court struggle to find new normal

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - 911 calls released on Tuesday give more details from the day two men were found dead at Allen Benedict Court.

"Will you advise them this is the third unconscious call we've had at that location since yesterday? Yesterday was two different patients," the responder says.

The calls were released nearly one month after those men were found dead and hundreds were forced to leave their homes, never to return.

A Columbia Police Department incident report details the discovery of the two men found dead inside of the Allen Benedict Court Apartments on Jan. 17 and says another person was taken by EMS the day before with “effects from the gas leak.”

Calvin Witherspoon, Jr., 62, and 31-year-old Derrick Caldwell Roper were both found dead in separate apartments. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts confirmed their cause of death was due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The report says that one of the men was found "DOA" in his apartment on the morning of Jan. 17.

As Columbia police responded to that scene, two Benedict College officers responded to a second apartment to do a welfare check on one of the school’s employees who had not been seen for several days. Once a Columbia Housing Authority employee opened his apartment, they found the man unresponsive “on the hallway floor near the restroom in the apartment.”

As these discoveries were made, the report says the Columbia Fire Department was clearing residents from the building due to a "potential hazard concern."

"The department found high concentrations of hydrogen, cyanide, and carbon monoxide in the building with the mass of the concentration coming from Apt. J2, per Columbia Fire Department.

The report also says that the resident living in apartment J2 was transported to the hospital by EMS with head and back injuries. A fourth resident was also transported on Jan. 16 from the building “with effects from the gas leak.”

You can hear the recordings here.

911 recordings from Allen Benedict Court: ’Is this the third unconscious call...?”

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