Two Women Sent to Hospital With Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Shelter Cove Fire and Rescue

Shelter Cove Fire and Rescue [Photo provided by Cheryl Antony of Shelter Cove Fire]

Early this morning at 5:36 a.m., Shelter Cove Fire received notice that residents of a home in Whale Gulch were suffering from possible carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Two women could have died in Whale Gulch today,” said Cheryl Antony, Public Information Officer for Shelter Cove Fire. “One woke up and just felt terrible…[She was] feeling dizzy and fell…She hurt her shoulder…”

The woman woke up her roommate and the two escaped the house. They were both taken to the hospital in the ambulance. “They gave them lots of oxygen,” Antony said.

She warned, “This could happen to anyone who has a stove that malfunctions. You could sleep through…and never wake up.” She added, “[Firefighters are] always telling people to get smoke detectors but they should get carbon monoxide detectors, too.”

She pointed out that they are cheap (mostly less than $20) and as carbon monoxide is mostly odorless, they can save your life.

If you do have a carbon monoxide detector, be sure to install it correctly, she pointed out. “Carbon monoxide tends to go down,” she said. “They should be installed anywhere within about three feet of the floor.”

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26 comments

  • We used to have a CO detector but had to take it down the battery died & there was NO WAY to replace it!!! We couldldn’t get it to open!!! The noise it made was deafening but…, so it went to live outsidetil the battery completely died!!!

    • Obviously what I have to say doesn’t count as my comment is still not among the count for this comment!!! Fine by me I won’t bother to say SH!T any more!!!!

  • Long ago, I was experiencing depression while I was in a rental unit with a gas wall heater. Suspected elevated CO levels, so I bought a detector. Sure enough, it went off one morning. It turned out the pilot on the heater was malfunctioning.

    The flame on the pilot, as well as the main burners, should always be blue, with very little yellow. If you see alot of yellow, call PG&E, they can come check it out.

  • Weird Al Yankovich’s parents died this way. True. Very sad.

  • This happens regularly during harvest season. People who don’t know better sleep in drying rooms with open flame propane torches.

  • This happened to me years ago in a Victorian rental unit while in college. Weather turned colder at night so we closed the window to the studio when we went to bed. Started waking up feeling tired for a few days. Then, we nearly died from carbon monoxide. The building didn’t have separate meters for each unit and PG&E had’t serviced anything. The wall heater and pilot lights on the stove nearly killed us and they weren’t turned on. I woke up and fell out of bed trying to get up. Crawled to the deck doors and gasped for air. Crawled back and dragged my boyfriend off the bed to the deck. We got evicted for complaining. They said they had to “remodel” the unit. This was in 1983, before CO alarms.

  • I’ve been planning a kitchen remodel to replace my electric stove with gas, but these stories make me hesitate.

    • Most cases of CO poisoning from a gas stove have to do with the pilot light or inadequate venting. I think pilot-lit stoves are actually illegal to sell new in California now, but there are plenty of them around. It’s possible for any gas appliance to malfunction, of course… but the CO is a by-product of the burning, so as long as you have no flame, you have no carbon monoxide.
      I resisted the spark ignition until i realized i would perpetually be breathing the effects of a gas-powered flame otherwise, and that of course i can still use the stove when there’s no electricity… i just have to light the burners with a match (though i don’t think you can use the oven without power). Anyway in that way, and in matters of cooking finesse, gas is way ahead of electric!

    • My neighbors use mesquite carbon to heat at 6’000′ high desert in Mexico. Most common way next to touching wires with rebar with moist salty soles of conductive shoes.

  • My parents had an issue when their forced air furnace developed pinhole corrosion spots between the burner chamber and the heat exchanger, letting the combustion gasses enter the house. It looked fine from the outside. They kept getting sick but could not figure out the problem until the old dog almost died because she liked to lay right in front of the register grate to get warm.

  • New gas stoves don’t have pilot lights anymore.

  • Having CO detectors are the law in rentals with gas appliances. Has been for about 5 or so years

  • The question in my mind is WHY am I “In Moderator Jail” Where I have to wait for a “Mother May I” before my comment can be “approved”???

  • A good news story for a change. Thanks Kym. Kudos to the first responders.

  • I had tenants that experienced headaches that they didn’t tell me about until they were moving out. PG&E came by same-day when I called, I think it was 8 at night, and checked everything. It was the wall heater. The renters had a couple of cute Pomeranian dogs that are twice as much hair as dog and the pet hair had gotten sucked up into the heater and burned, creating soot that built up and clogged the venting. No trouble before or since, but I check it anyway and installed a detector, now required by law.

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