Wedding Reception Was A Knockout
Fire officials said they thought a faulty boiler at the catering hall at 75-07 31st Ave. might have leaked the colorless, odorless fumes putting an end to the wedding celebration.
FDNY officials said tests conducted by firefighters that Sunday evening showed the carbon monoxide level inside the catering hall was 400, while a normal reading should indicate a level of about nine.
The groom, George Quenneville, said firefighters saved everyone at the reception. "Someone with a brain called 911 when people started getting dizzy and nauseous," said Quenneville. He said his bride was taken to a local hospital after she became dizzy and that his mother fainted and was taken to a different hospital than his bride. "I guess I'm going to spend tonight running from one hospital to another," Quenneville said. "Not exactly what we had planned."
Firefighters and emergency medical crews treated more than 40 people in a parking lot outside the catering hall for symptoms ranging from headaches to dizziness and shortness of breath.
Guests said they were "partying, dancing and celebrating" when firefighters raced into the room and ordered everyone to "get out because there was some sort of leak in the building". "The firefighters were tremendous," said one wedding usher. "They ran into the room gathering up everyone and rushed us to ambulances waiting in the parking lot. A lot of people were very sick when they got out [of] there, but no one even noticed anything was wrong until the firefighters came running in."
Fire officials said the entire building would have to be thoroughly checked and given a clean bill of health before it can reopen. Inspectors were expected to be on the site on Monday morning, April 7, fire officials said.
When asked if the couple would seek a refund from Dante's, Quenneville said, "Damn straight we want a refund." The beleaguered bridegroom refused to comment on the possibility of any future legal action in the matter.
According to broadcast reports, on Monday, April 7, the manager of Dante's had offered to refund the price of the event and hold another party. He had also said that boiler repairs were underway and carbon monoxide detectors were to be installed.
- Liz Goff