One of the carbon monoxide incidents took place in Maryland and involved a sandwich shop that had high levels of the gas. Two firefighters just happened to be eating at the shop for lunch Friday, when their portable carbon monoxide detectors started going off. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time.

Luckily, the firefighters were there on the scene and called for additional resources immediately when they knew that there was a carbon monoxide leak in the store. The source of the leak was the boiler/HVAC unit that had a broken exhaust. The broken unit was sending carbon monoxide directly into the store.

The units were turned off, and firefighters turned on fans to lessen the amount of carbon monoxide in the store. It appears that no one was injured. The unit was only on for the day thankfully, so there was no prolonged exposure.

The next story of a carbon monoxide poisoning in Colorado Springs did not have such a happy ending. In fact, one person died likely as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning due to running a generator in the house.

Police were called to the house Saturday afternoon where they found a person unresponsive. Their attempts to resuscitate the victim were not successful. They tried to save the person, but to no avail.

The person was about 30, but no further details were released about the victim. The power was turned off to the apartment, and the person was running a generator indoors. This case was an unfortunate reminder not to run gas-powered generators indoors. For more on portable generators, see this blog post:

A portable generator is a product that can kill you in minutes. This is another reason to always have a working carbon monoxide detector in the home, even though the manufacturers of generators should install a carbon monoxide alarm on the generators to warn people of the dangerous gas that can kill them “in minutes.” Even better, manufacturers should consider producing low carbon monoxide emission generators.

There is still a long way to go, but we must make the first step quickly before more people die in this tragic and preventable way.

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