Firefighters responding to medical call uncover carbon monoxide leak

RICHLAND TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (01/02/18) - Firefighters responding to a medical call uncovered a carbon monoxide leak Tuesday morning.

The Richland Township Fire Department responded to a home in the 1200 block of South Hemlock Road. Three people were inside the Saginaw County home and two were suffering effects of carbon monoxide.

"We'd like to think we did some good for them," said Richland Township Assistant Fire Chief Jeremy Scott.

"We carry a CO detector on our medical jump kit which immediately started alerting as we came into the structure. So we realized then we had an active CO leak going on," Scott said. "Starts to alarm, beeps, it flashes."

Firefighters immediately looked for the source using the other carbon monoxide detecting equipment.

"It's either the water heater or the furnace. They're both real close together so they're trying to isolate and pinpoint it right now," Scott said.

Both appliances have been turned off and the homeowner will need to fix or replace them. Firefighters also aired out the home while the people inside the home were checked out.

Two people were taken by ambulance to the hospital. The third had just arrived and was OK.

The CO detector told firefighters how serious the situation was.

"The monitor itself stops at 1999 parts per million," Scott said.

The levels in the South Hemlock Road home surpassed that number.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, effects of carbon monoxide exposure can start to be felt around 70 parts per million.

Firefighters aren't sure if the original medical issue was related to the leak, but had they not been called the people inside may have never known what they were breathing in.

Scott hopes this serves a reminder for everyone.

"Have your furnace, water heater serviced regularly. Cleaned and serviced regularly and ensure that you have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of the home, if not multiple on each floor of the home," Scott said.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, click on the 'Related Link' with this story.

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