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Another one almost bites the dust

Post in 'The Gear' started by colebrookman, Dec 13, 2009.

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  1. colebrookman

    colebrookman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    Messages:
    776
    Loc:
    Middlefield, Ma
    Post Orem CO Poisoning
    Orem family sickened by carbon monoxide leak in home
    Janice Peterson - Daily Herald

    OREM -- Four family members are recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning this week, thanks to one woman's quick thinking.

    Glenna Wendt woke up at 2:30 a.m. Thursday with what she called the worst headache she'd ever had. She said her husband, Brad, brought her medication, but she began throwing up and feeling dizzy. Wendt said she called in sick to work and scheduled a doctor's appointment for later in the day, but soon realized the situation was more dire.

    Wendt said she began to suspect something was seriously wrong when her husband said he was also feeling dizzy, and her in-laws living upstairs reported they were ill as well. Wendt's mother-in-law called her, saying she had called in sick to work and was too dizzy to stand.

    "It seemed suspicious to me," she said.

    Having seen television shows about carbon monoxide poisoning, Wendt thought it could be the source of the family's illnesses. She quickly told her husband to go outside with her, where her nausea immediately disappeared. She then called 911, and responding firefighters told the family to leave the home because of high levels of carbon monoxide. The home's old furnace had malfunctioned, and combined with a wood-burning fireplace was helping to replace the house's oxygen with carbon monoxide.

    All four family members spent three hours in a hyperbaric chamber Thursday and another three hours over two sessions on Friday. Wendt said she feels lucky to be alive after the frightening situation.

    Within an hour of leaving the hospital on Thursday, the family installed carbon monoxide detectors in the home, and the furnace was replaced on Friday. Wendt cautioned families to take the proper precautions to protect themselves from a potentially deadly situation by installing detectors.

    "That's the only way that you can really know, unless it's dire circumstances," she said.

    Wendt's mother-in-law, Jaynann, said she is lucky to be alive. When she awoke feeling ill at 4:30 a.m. Thursday, she took a hot bath, but afterward was so dizzy she couldn't walk back to the bed. Her husband, Donald, was also feeling ill, and she said she thought their symptoms were pointing only to a minor illness.

    Had Glenna Wendt not called firefighters, Jaynann Wendt said, she likely would have just stayed in bed all day because she was too sick to walk.

    "If she hadn't done anything, we would have been goners, because I thought we had the flu," Jaynann Wendt said.

    Friday afternoon, Jaynann Wendt said the family were feeling much better after the treatments at the hospital, but they were still tired and feeling the effects of the carbon monoxide.

    Orem police are urging residents to take precautions and watch for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning after Thursday's incident. Sgt. Craig Martinez said there will likely be a few more cases as winter picks up steam, but hopefully residents will recognize the symptoms.

    "It's something that concerns us, especially with the temperatures," he said.

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  2. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,770
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    I knew I ripped our furnace out for a reason. Glad they are safe.
  3. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,332
    Loc:
    Tuscola, IL
    Crazy! In 31 years in the fire service and all the calls similar to this one, I have never figured out why anyone would be without one of the cheapest insurance policies they can buy.....a $30 CO detector (the other of course is a $10 Smoke detector) I have been on one call where the same happened and they did not wake up! PLEASE, spread the word to anyone you know without a CO detector! Sorry I am venting, but after all these years of seeing pain and suffering, I just hate it when it is unnecessary.
  4. FuzzyOne

    FuzzyOne Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    99
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    Yup, CO alarms on each floor of my house. It was a mandatory addition during my post insert inspection by the fire official. He even measured to make sure it was the proper distance from all the bedrooms.
  5. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Tuscola, IL
    FuzzyOne, just a note.....you probably just slipped, but just to clarify....CO not CO2 detector.
  6. FuzzyOne

    FuzzyOne Member

    Joined:
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    99
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    Yes, I slipped....all corrected, thanks.
  7. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    888
    Cheap insurance is right. Buy smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and use them! I have both in my furnace room, both near the woodburner, and several more throughout the rest of the house. total investment was not even $200.00 and I sleep soundly at night.
  8. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Principality of Pontinha
    How did they figure the wood-burning fireplace was contributing?
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,358
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    A fireplace can draw air out of the home creating a negative pressure situation. This in turn causes the CO to be sucked into the home through cracks in the heat exchanger or through a reversing furnace flue.
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