On December 1, 2017 FOX59 reported a Gary, Indiana elderly woman is dead, and a young girl was in critical condition after they apparently suffered carbon monoxide poisoning in northwestern Indiana.
Gary Fire Department spokesman Mark Jones says crews responded Wednesday afternoon to a home on the city’s west side and found an oven was on. He says firefighters discovered high carbon monoxide readings and found two people in cardiac arrest.
Jones tells The Northwest Indiana Times the fire department pronounced the woman dead at a hospital. WLS-TV reports the child was airlifted to a Chicago hospital.
Jones says the oven was apparently being used to help heat the home. The TV station reports, however, that the home had furnace problems that were being repaired. The child was reportedly 5-years-old. Names weren’t immediately released.
At the end of January 2018, NWI.com reported “…neither the commission, nor the Indiana General Assembly, so far has shown much interest in taking Indiana out of the dozen states that do not mandate residential carbon monoxide detectors, either through their building codes or in state law.
A couple I hadn’t seen in a number of years visited recently. Catching up, he shared a story of a near escape from death from carbon monoxide poisoning. Their home had no carbon monoxide detectors. According to Craig Press, “Every year in the United States, more than 20,000 people visit the emergency room, more than 4,000 people are hospitalized, and more than 400 people die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning.”
The high school buddies said it was about 2:30 am, and they were asleep when their two cats jumped on his chest and awakened him. He couldn’t figure out where he was and his legs wouldn’t support him. He turned to his wife and tried to wake her. My friend rolled her off the bed, and the fall to the floor roused her. He called 911, and the operator said to get out of the house immediately. The husband said he wasn’t leaving without his wife. Soon fire and rescue vehicles were outside. They pronounced his wife dead but continued trying CPR. The Fire and Rescue team even asked for the others to bring a body bag. They measured the house for CO and said they had never seen a house registering this high.
Luckily, the rescuers brought her back, and she spent a month in the hospital. He recovered also. The cause was a simple case of a malfunctioning heating pipe leaking CO into the house.
The couple will make sure any house they stay in has carbon monoxide detectors.
Dizziness, headaches, and nausea are three of the most common symptoms, but one in six people wrongly think a metallic taste in the mouth is also a sign. Check Carbon Monoxide Poisoning – What are the symptoms?
You can see smoke, and many states require smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, but, is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and initially non-irritating, it is very difficult for people to detect, yet the effects are deadly.
Once again, I am warning about CO and the need for buyers of real estate to check if there are carbon monoxide detectors. They are inexpensive and will save your life if there is a leak in your heating system.
As of January 2017, 32 states have enacted statutes regarding carbon monoxide detectors, and another 11 have promulgated regulations on carbon monoxide detectors. Alaska requires detectors approved by the state fire marshal installed in all dwellings. Connecticut requires them in all new construction, as does New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. Florida also requires them in new construction, and in every room with a boiler. They are inexpensive; only about $30.
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