VALLEY, Ala. (WRBL) – An East Alabama family of eight is recovering after a near disaster at their home in Valley over the weekend. Thankfully, an alert Chambers County 911 dispatcher helped them escape a silent killer seeping into their home.
“The initial call was a 13-year-old was unresponsive as soon as dispatchers started gathering more information they released it was carbon monoxide poisoning,” said East Alabama Fire Department Assistant Chief, Kerry Pickard.
The 911 call was made from inside a Valley home along 30th Street. The Chambers County dispatcher was able to get the family outside. When first responders arrived on the scene, eight people including grandparents, parents, and children as young as three-years-old were sick and rushed to the hospital.
“Upon further investigation, we found out exhaust from the furnace located up under the house had become disconnected. So basically the furnace was running, and the exhaust was escaping just under the living quarters where the family was staying, ” explained Pickard.
Pickard says Saturday the entire family began feeling like they had the flu with vomiting. This is an early and often misread symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“You can’t smell it, they call it a silent killer for a reason,” said Pickard.
- Do have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
- Do install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds leave your home immediately and call 911.
- Do seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseated.
- Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
- Don’t run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
- Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented.
- Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.
- Don’t use a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.
For more information on preventing CO poisoning please visit the CDC’s website at the following link: You Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure