Five members of a Virginia family suffered carbon monoxide poisoning when a damaged furnace leaked the gas into their home Sunday, according to Two were hospitalized.

The incident happened in Henrico, Va. The county fire department was called to the scene after a report of a fall in a residence on Croydon Road, reported,

The fire department arrived to discover a woman, 34, laying in a tub and complaining that she had been feeling sick for some time. She also reported that the other four occupants of the house had been feeling ill, with headaches and weakness, according to

The fire personnel immediately suspected that was a carbon monoxide leak, and they tested and found that the CO level in the house was 190 parts per million, reported. That was way above the danger level of 10 parts per million.

The fire crew evacuated the home, also taking the women in the tub outside. said that all five family members had carbon monoxide in their blood. Two, including an 11-year-old boy, were taken to a local hospital.

Fire authorities traced the carbon monoxide leak to a damaged furnace, according to


Chalk up another canine rescue of its owner from carbon monoxide poisoning. In fact, it almost seems like dogs have become living detectors of the potentially lethal, ordorless gas.

In the latest case, Boston terrier Kayla warned her owner Christy Williamson about the looming danger, according to LifeWithDogs.TV.

Someone, apparently a neighbor, had left their car running in the garage right beneath Williamson’s condo in Germantown, Md. Williamson’s condo was inundated with the deadly gas when Kayla came into her room and woke her up,  LifeWithDogs.TV reported.

Williamson had already inhaled so much carbon monoxide that she had trouble walking, fell down several times and was nauseous. She called 911, but was so far gone that she had trouble answering simple question like what her address was, according to LifeWithDogs.TV.

EMTs arrived on the scene in the nick of time, as Williamson was told if it was five minutes later she would have been dead.

Needless to say, Williamson was calling her rescuer Kayla “my angel,” and said the dog likely saved the lives of other residents in her condo complex who would have died of carbon monoxide poisoning, LifeWithDogs.TV reported.

Nice going, Kayla.

A carbon monoxide leak from a pool heater resulted in five Hampton Inn guests in Arkansas being hospitalized Monday night, and the entire hotel being evacuated, according to the Siloam Springs Daily Leader.

The incident happened at the inn on U.S. 421 in Siloam Springs, with the first report of carbon monoxide poisoning coming about 8:30 p.m. Monday from a 54-year-old man who felt sick, “dizzy” with a “rapid heart  beat,” the Daily Leader reported.

Another hotel occupant reported the same symptoms two hours later, and EMTs contacted the local gas company, which found the leak from the pool heater.

Five people were taken to Siloam Springs Regional Hospital for treatment. One of the victims was apparently unconscious in his room, and EMTs had to force their way in to get him out, according to the Daily Leader.

Just over 30 people were evacuated from the hotel, with 25 guests sent to a Best Western in West Siloam Springs, Okla., the Daily Leader reported. The Hampton Inn reopened at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Here’s a life-saving tip from firefighters in Boynton Beach, Fla.: If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, don’t try to change its batteries. Get the hell out of your house and call 911.

Margaret Diana, 78, was discovered by her next-door neighbors two weeks ago in her Boynton Beach home, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to WPBF.

When firefighters checkedDiana’s house, there was a carbon monoxide detector, with batteries next to it, on the kitchen table, WPBF reported.

One of the firefighters in Palm Beach County explained that it is commonplace to arrive at a home where there’s been some kind of carbon monoxide leak, “a close call,” and find a carbon monoxide detector with it batteries next to it, just taken out.

The bottom line is once a detector is in an alarm mode, people should not be fooling with its batteries and checking them. At risk of being overcome by the lethal gas’s fumes, people should hoof it out of their residence and call 911.

When that alarm goes off, danger is literally in the air.


On Christmas Day a couple and an 11-year-old boy died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in Flint, Mich., according to the Associated Press.

LeTroy Edwards, 43, Selena Carranza, 37, and her son Jayson Cobbin, 11, were the victims of the accidental poisoning, AP reported. Edwards and Carranza were dead at the scene, while the boy died at a hospital.

Earlier in the week, on Monday, two people in Bruce Township also perished from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, according to AP.

The source of the lethal gas wasn’t identified in either incident.


A New Jersey state senator last week introduced legislation that would require schools in the Garden State to install carbon monoxide detectors, something only required in Connecticut and Maryland now.

Sen. Shirley K. Turner, author of a 1999 New Jersey law requiring homes to have carbon monoxide detectors installed,  is the sponsor of the new bill.

“Recently we have seen incidents across the country where students are evacuated from schools wearing oxygen masks and transported to hospitals because the school simply did not have the correct equipment to detect high levels of carbon monoxide,” Turner, D-Mercer and Hunterdon counties, said in a statement.

“This is an easy fix,” she said. ” By requiring schools to install carbon monoxide detectors, we can help to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for New Jersey students.”

The bill, S-2402, would require all New Jersey public and private schools to install carbon monoxide detection devices. The bill would allow for an exemption for any school that is determined to have no potential CO hazard, such as those without heat sources that could potentially emit carbon monoxide fumes.

The bill would require the Commissioner of Community Affairs to set regulations regarding installation and standards of the devices and would require that installation of the devices to be done by local fire officials or the state Division of Fire Safety.

The senator’s press release noted that earlier this month, nearly 50 students and teachers from Finch Elementary School in Atlanta were sent to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. According to WSB-TV in Atlanta, maintenance workers forgot to flip a switch on the school’s boiler, causing it to work overtime and leak high levels of the lethal gas into the public areas and classrooms.

Turner said there have been other instances of schools having undetected high-levels of CO.

Within the past three months, students were also evacuated and hospitalized from schools in Chicago and Philadelphia due to carbon monoxide poisoning. According to a USA Today report, there have been at least 19 carbon-monoxide-related incidents at schools since 2007, causing at least 349 children and staff to be hospitalized.

“If a simple maintenance error can cause dozens of students in Georgia to end up in the hospital, what makes us think that our children are safe from this silent killer?” Turner said. “Just like fire and smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors are critical to ensuring our children’s safety by detecting this poisonous gas early and all of our schools should have them.”


An East Texas couple found dead in their home Tuesday were apparent victims of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The victims, Cynthia Pettigrew, 50, and Johnathan Lydia, who was about to celebrate his 49th birthday, had a gasoline-powered generator running inside their house in Tyler, Texas, according to authorities.

Tyler police responded to the scene about 3 p.m. after a family member found the two bodies, according to the Star-Telegram. The relative had not heard from the pair “in days,” the paper reported.

This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this kind of thing, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Once again, a vigilant pooch has saved its owner from carbon monoxide poisoning, avoiding tragedy.

In the most recent case, the hero was a 4-year-old chihuahua in West Jordan, Utah, according to the Deseret News. The dog, named Snow, had been taken home from the Humane Society of Utah by Tonya Ostrander in October on a trial basis.

She was looking for a pet for her legally blind daughter, Chehala Moore, 9, the Deseret News reported, and was giving Snow a tryout.

On Dec. 10 at 2:30 a.m. Snow began barking and woke up Ostrander and her daughter. Both of them felt sick, with the same symptoms, and Ostrander wisely called an ambulance,  according to the Deseret News.

Physicians tested both mother and daughter and found that they had high levels of carbon monoxide in their bodies. After being given oxygen, after several hours the two were both released.

In an interview with the Deseret News, Ostrander credited Snow with saving her life and that of her daughter.

Needless to say, Snow made the grade. Ostrander formally adopted her from the Humane Society Dec. 13, after renaming her Snowee.

One can’t help but marvel at the irony: 30 people suffered carbon monoxide poisoning Saturday at a place in Boston named the Exhale Spa.

The ill, who displayed symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, were treated at the scene at the spa in the Back Bay section of Boston, according to

Firefighters responded to the spa around 2 p.m. and checked out about 30 people who had been exposed to the lethal gas, which apparently had leaked from a gas-dryer or hot water heater, reported. Eight people were taken to New England Medical Center and Mass General for treatment.

High levels of carbon monoxide were detected in the spa’s basement.

Needless to say, Massachusetts doesn’t require businesses to have carbon monoxide detectors.


Washington state has a new law mandating the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in homes that goes into effect Jan. 1, according to the Associated Press and other media reports.

The genesis of the new, broader law is pretty interesting. The Legislature amended the state building code when there was a bad windstorm in Puget Sound in December 2006, AP reported. That storm caused power outages, and ended up with hundreds of people being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

There were also eight deaths, those who died of carbon monoxide poisoning after using generators or barbecues in their homes to keep warm, according to AP.

The legislation is stricter than current Washington law, which had only required carbon monoxide detectors in newly constructed buildings starting in 2011. The new regulation is much broader, requiring the detectors in existing dwellings, such as apartments, hotels, condos dorms and “residential institutions,” AP reported.

In addition, as of the new year home owners must have carbon monoxide detectors in their houses if they sell them.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a bigger risk in the Northwest not only because that area has a lot of storms, but because many homes have been carefully insulated and sealed to conserve energy, according to AP. That means any fumes can’s escape a house.