RICHMOND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) _ A faulty water heater apparently allowed carbon monoxide to blow through a party center where wedding receptions were being held, and at least 52 people were taken to hospitals for treatment.

''After the first couple went down, people started getting sick real quick,'' said Kimberly Podijil, who remained in Hillcrest Hospital today in Mayfield Heights.

She and another woman were listed in satisfactory condition today and two others remained hospitalized in fair condition, hospital officials said.

In all, at least 52 were taken to four hospitals for treatment after the incident Saturday night at Villa di Borally Party Center in this suburb of Cleveland.

Fire Chief Robert Stefancik said it appeared that carbon monoxide escaped from a faulty water heater on the first floor of the two-story center. He said the gas was pulled into a nearby air conditioner and spread throughout the first floor.

Richmond Heights fire officials inspected the building Sunday morning after repairs were made and gave owner Albert Borally permission to reopen.

''The inspector said everything is all right, and we will try to make some improvement so this type of thing will never happen again,'' Borally said.