Arcata Family’s Carbon Monoxide Detector May Have Saved Their Lives Last Night

Press release from Arcata Fire:

October 11, 2017 at just after 9pm, the Arcata Fire District engine from the McKinleyville station responded to a residence for a report of a carbon monoxide detector activation. Upon arrival, fire personnel met with the family outside of the house, with fans and ventilation of the residence already in progress. Interior of the residence was checked using the gas/air monitor, discovering very high levels of carbon monoxide leading from the kitchen to a water heater closet. Utilities were secured, the home ventilated and the occupants denied medical treatment.

Captain Nate Padula commended the owner of the residence for having alarms in the house, listening to the warning alarm and getting his family outside. “The alarms did exactly what they were supposed to do by warning the residence that there was a problem,” Padula reported….Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning kills more than 400 people according to the CDC and is responsible for over 50,000 emergency department visits nationwide each year. Americans 65 and older are among the highest fatalities. Arcata Fire District urges you to not ignore the warnings when carbon monoxide detectors activate….

Just like a smoke detector, carbon monoxide detectors should be checked and tested regularly, have current power or fresh batteries and not be ignored in the event of an activation. There are other warning signs such as persistent, severe headaches and dizziness (usually affecting more than one person in an enclosed area), nausea, vomiting and fatigue. Quite often these symptoms disappear when the individual leaves the structure. Carbon monoxide detectors save lives!




  • “Utilities were secured . . . ”

    Meaning what?

    • Probably turned off so they don’t emit carbon monoxide

    • The gas needs to be turned off. CO is emitted from cumbustible appliances and when a fuel is burned. CI is common in the air, high levels are very dangerous. You will pass out before you know what hits you. This is my home and I am trained. Please learn about CO and use detectors. It probably saved our lives and will save yours.

  • Hmm…this sounds more like a promotion of solar hot water heaters and also on-demand water heaters!! Because, yes, having a constant-flame water heater in your air-tight living space would always be a bad idea. Or am I missing something?

    • You’re missing something. Gas waterheaters with an open flame ARE perfectly safe when they are in good working order and properly vented. If anything, YOU sound like the promotion of the solar water heater. Unless of course by ‘open flame’ you are talking about using your kerosene camp stove inside your air tight living space to heat your water.

      • Ha! I guess I am! Okay- I’m babbling out of my area of knowledge. I’ve used solar (black poly in the sun) and on-demand Palomas then Boschs mounted outside w/ shed protection for decades. I also don’t keep a pilot light continuously running on my OKeefe and Merrit stove. I don’t know much about these wonderful modern conveniences….that sometimes kill you in your sleep. I’m not smart like that.

    • This was definitely not a promotion. Do you have a CO detector? You should. Next to every combustible appliance.

    • Local mountain goat

      Lol…i was totaly smelling something fishy about this whole thing as well…lmao…glad im not the only one with a sensitive nose…lol….

  • Honeydew Bridge C.H.U.M.P.

    [edit: I’m too tired for this now.]

  • My head hurts from trying to decipher this “mess” release. Why did the fire department deny medical treatment to the residents?

    • My belief is that the residents denied needing care.

      • The fire department is trained in medical response and there are no symptoms. You have to be exposed for a certain period and go through different phases of poisoning. You will feel symptoms of exposure like a headache or nausea. No symptoms were observed or felt. You have to react fast and have an alarm in place.

      • Local mountain goat

        Lol…haha i read it wrong at first as well….and then figured out what they meant ….haha

    • There is no need if you get away from the source by listening to the alarm. No symptoms of poisoning were observed because of quick response. 1. Get to fresh air- everyone outside. 2. Ventilate by opening doors on the way out. 3. Turn off gas. 4. Notify for emergency response

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