Four Otis Orchards residents treated for carbon monoxide poisoning



Posted on November 29, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 30 at 6:19 AM

OTIS ORCHARDS, Wash. -- Paramedics rescued three adults and a baby after carbon monoxide spread through their Otis Orchards home.

Emma Long, her 15-month-old son, boyfriend and friend Hannah O’Neill all live at the house.

Long says she woke up early in the morning and didn't feel well. She says she felt dizzy, hot and sick to her stomach. She fell over several times trying to get to her baby and other roommates.
All three of the roommates had trouble walking and fell over several times. Long’s boyfriend was able to call 911. Shortly after, Long says she and her boyfriend both passed out.

The CO monitor on the medics’ equipment began to sound as crews examined them. Firefighters immediately began to treat the victims for CO poisoning.

“They said if he wouldn't have made the phone call when he did, we would have been found dead,” O’Neill said.

As of Thursday night, Long’s son is the only one who's had been released from the hospital.
The residents believe the leak has something to do with their fireplace, but the Spokane Valley Fire Department is still investigating.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness and death without warning. CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, cooking or heating stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal, wood and heating systems. CO can build up in enclosed spaces.

The fire department says people should be aware of symptoms including headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.

Firefighters advise:

• Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
• Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home.
• Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.
• Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home near sleeping areas, and check or replace the battery when you change the batteries in your smoke alarms in the fall and spring.