Carbon monoxide sends family to hospital

Carbon monoxide poisoning sent a Chimney Valley family to hospital Saturday, said Williams Lake Fire Chief Des Webster.

Carbon monoxide poisoning sent a Chimney Valley family to hospital Saturday, said Williams Lake Fire Chief Des Webster.

“They called us from the hospital at about 7 a.m.” Webster said. “When we went out to their home on Vandenburgh Road it was filled with carbon monoxide.”

Fortis came in and tested the home as well and found a high concentration,  he said.

Webster suspects the home’s propane heater was probably the cause of the problem.

“Typically if those units aren’t working properly and they aren’t fully burning up propane like they are supposed to they can give off carbon monoxide,” he said.

To help clear the home, the fire department opened up all the windows, put in ventilation fans, and instructed the family not to return until the heater was checked by a technician.

“Carbon monoxide is scary because you can’t see it, taste it or smell it,” Webster added. “It can be pretty deadly because you don’t know it’s there.”

Most fatalities in fires are caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, he added.

Carbon monoxide detectors are required now under the building code and if there are any fuel fired appliances in a home it should have a CO2 detector, Webster said.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.”

Williams Lake Tribune