Date: 12/16/2008 11:00 PM

BC-Carbon Monoxide,2nd Ld-Writethru/221

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — Nearly 30 people at a seafood business were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said Tuesday.

Bellingham Fire Chief Bill Boyd said they were overcome by fumes at the Homeport Seafoods cold storage business. The fire department responded to a call Tuesday morning about a person passing out. When firefighters arrived, everyone was conscious, but people showing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can include headaches, nausea and vomiting.

Investigators suspect warehouse doors — closed due to freezing temperatures — trapped carbon monoxide emissions from forklifts, Boyd said.

In all, 29 people arrived at St. Joseph Hospital with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, said hospital spokeswoman Amy Cloud. Four were later transferred to Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle for treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, which increases oxygen pressure in body tissues and the amount of oxygen blood can transport, Cloud said.

A manager from Homeport Seafoods declined to comment.

Tony Gerbino, head of hyperbaric care at Virginia Mason, said people should be careful about running generators inside or close to windows of their homes.

Bellingham is about 90 miles north of Seattle.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

As we have said repeatedly herein and on our website, engines cannot be run indoors, without ventilation designed for such use. Portable generators, forklifts, car engines and this time of year, snowblowers all create risks. Be particularly careful not to use your gas stove to supplement your heat when the temperature dips. For more on carbon monoxide poisoning, see our webpage at

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