Five workers at legendary chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Upper East Side restaurant wound up with a bad case of gas — after a carbon monoxide leak left them hospitalized Tuesday night, FDNY officials said.
The leak came from the basement at JoJo Restaurant, Jean-Georges’ eatery at a brownstone on E. 64th St. and Lexington Ave. just after 11 p.m., an FDNY spokesman said. Medics took five people to New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell with minor injuries, the spokesman said.
When fire marshals investigated, they found the carbon monoxide level at 400 parts per million — which can be life-threatening after three hours of exposure, officials said.
Firefighters shut off the boiler and vented the building, and the level dropped to 50 parts per million, the FDNY spokesman said. Officials were still working to bring that number lower early Wednesday morning.
Fire officials said diners at the French-themed restaurant were never in jeopardy.
“It didn’t even get into the dining room. It was in the cellar,” said FDNY Chief Mark Rosenbaum.
JoJo is billed as Jean-Georges’ first solo restaurant, named for the chef’s childhood nickname. It reopened in the bottom two floors of the five-story brownstone in the fall after a year-long renovation, according to Eater.com.
Residents of the brownstone were forced to evacuate.
“I was asleep,” said Emily, who lives on the fourth floor and didn’t give her last name. “The restaurant people knocked on our door and said there was carbon monoxide leak and we had to leave.”