Carbon monoxide detector alerts family to leak early Thanksgiving morning

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GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (11/22/2018) - A Grand Blanc Township family had a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

The family of five managed to safely escape a carbon monoxide leak in their home early Thursday morning.

Nichole McDaniel is calling the carbon monoxide detector her sister gave her family eight years ago the best Christmas gift she's ever received. The 3:30 a.m. wake up call it provided may have saved the family's life

"I called 911 to let them know that the alarm sounded. They told us to get out of the house immediately," Rick McDaniel said.

He and Nichole worked as quickly as they could to move all three of their young children ages 10, 8 and 1 outside into a camping trailer.

"Just get out of the house, get out of the house," Nichole said.

Rick said it's ironic this happened on Thanksgiving Day.

"We could have not waken up and all of us dead," he said, "We're very thankful that we had this little item that sounded off and saved our lives."

Grand Blanc Fire Chief Robert Burdette responded to the call.

"We try to determine where the leak is," he said. "We determined it was around the furnace area."

Burdette said the fire department's gas monitors showed carbon monoxide levels at 45 parts per million. A safe level is below 35 parts per million.

While not immediately lethal, prolonged exposure to the odorless, colorless gas could cause serious illness or death.

"At 4:00 in the morning you're asleep and if they had slept through the alarm, it's a possibility it may have had a worse outcome," Burdette said.

The family stayed with Rick's parents on Thursday night and a new furnace was expected to be delivered Friday morning.

"I encourage everybody to go out and spend the money to get this little item that's going to save your life. Had we not had this, we probably wouldn't be here," he said.

Burdette said residents should have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of their home, even in the basement next to the furnace and one close to the sleeping area.

If the alarm does go off, head outside immediately and then call 9-1-1.

And don't forget to change the batteries twice a year.

The same rules apply for people who live in apartments.

See "Related Links" on the right side of this story for more information on carbon monoxide detection and safety.

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