Fenton family says carbon monoxide detector saved their lives

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FENTON (WJRT) (10/31/2017) - A Fenton family owes their lives to a carbon monoxide detector that went off as designed, even if they almost dismissed it as a false alarm.

"At first I was like, 'Am I really hearing an alarm, because I'm tired, I'm in the basement.' But it kept going off. So then it scared me," said Rachel Peabody.

She said it was after midnight and she was up unusually late doing laundry when she heard the alarm upstairs.

"It was saying 'carbon monoxide detected, carbon monoxide detected.' So I'm trying to climb up to get it down because my kids bedrooms are upstairs," Peabody said. "And, I'm not wanting to wake them up because I'm thinking, 'Oh this is nothing.'"

But, she says even after changing the batteries, it kept going off.

"You have no way of knowing. Like with smoke, you can smell smoke, you know, where there's a fire, but the carbon monoxide I mean you don't know," she said.

Peabody called her husband in from working in the garage. They decided to wake up the kids, get them outside in the fresh air and call 911.

"My 6-year-old and the baby and where our room is were the highest levels in the house," Peabody said.

The Fenton Fire Department explained their furnace was the culprit.

Peabody said it was just inspected. They moved into their house a month ago, but somehow the heat exchanger got clogged and the carbon monoxide sensor wasn't working properly.

"So it just kept running and running and running. Well consequently, because it just kept running, that's when the carbon monoxide built up," she said.

Peabody said had their alarm not gone off or if they decided not to call 911 she and her family may not have been here to tell their story today.

"It's really scary, you feel kind of dramatic being like that, but truthfully, you could've all been dead," she said.

First Choice Heating and Cooling is installing a new furnace for the Peabodys.

The company says the best detector is a low level CO alarm because regular alarms don't detect carbon monoxide until it's at 70 parts-per-million, which can be an unsafe level for children and older folks.

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