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When are people going to learn this lesson: Don’t use a grill inside your home.

On Thanksgiving night 20 people at a party in Chicago got carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Chicago Tribune.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-11-24/news/chi-20-people-suffer-carbon-monoxide-poisoning-20111124_1_carbon-monoxide-poisoning-thanksgiving-party-area-hospitals

And how did they get poisoned by that potentially lethal gas?

Someone was using a grill inside a home on West Roscoe Street in the Kilbourn Park neighborhood where the incident took place. Were they trying to grill the bird like a hamburger?

Seven people were sent to West Suburban Medical Center and Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, and another 13 were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at the scene, according to the Tribune.

The incident happened before 11 p.m.

 

 

Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that last weekend’s freak snowstorm in the Northeast, which knocked out power for days in New Jersey and Connecticut, would end up killing people. Or perhaps rather, that carbon monoxide would wind up killing people. And so it happened.

An elderly couple, Robert Stephens, 84, and his wife Susanna, 79, were discovered dead in their home in Holland Township, N.J. They had been without electricity for almost a week, and were found by a Jersey Central Power & Light  contractor, according to The Wall Street Journal.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203804204577018292206228950.html

Authorities believe that the married couple died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a gas generator they had running in their garage to heat their home.

Middle Atlantic officials agree that the weekend snowstorm did much more damage than Hurricane Irene back at the end of August. The snowstorm packed a real whammy, downing trees and branches whose leaves — not fallen yet — couldn’t bear the weight of the heavy wet snow.

That lead to the downing of power lines, depriving residents of heat during frosty fall weather. People scrambled to find other ways to heat their homes, be it with fire pits or gas generators, or even firing up charcoal grills and propane burners inside their homes, according to The Journal.

But those alternatives to electrically produced heat all pose the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Journal reported that Connecticut officials had gotten more than 200 calls about carbon monoxide poisoning since the Oct. 30 snowstorm.

In the case of the Garden State, “11 callers to New Jersey’s poison control center were later hospitalized for carbon monoxide exposure,” according to The Journal.  

Unfortunately, the Stephens never made such a call.  

Here’s why you need carbon monoxide detectors in your dwelling.

Nearly a dozen people in New London, Wis., were hospitalized and released Sunday for carbon monoxide poisoning after a leak of the deadly gas in their apartment building, according to The Post-Crescent of Appleton. 

http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20111030/APC0101/111030012/Update-11-hospitalized-after-carbon-monoxide-leak-New-London?odyssey=tab|topnews|img|FRONTPAGE

New London firefighters evacuated the 16-unit apartment building at 505 Oakridge Lane, with at least 11 residents winding up in the hospital, according to The Post-Crescent. An ambulance arrived on on the scene around 6 a.m. in response to a call of four people feeling sick. The four all lived in the same apartment unit.

One teen-aged girl was found on her bed unconscious, but she was revived, the local newspaper reported.

Six people were transported to New London Family Medical Center; three to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton; and two to Riverside Medical Center, according to The Post-Crescent. But two of the residents first sent to New London had to be transferred to St. Elizabeth so they get treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

A hot water heater in the apartment building’s basement had a broken exhaust pipe, and fire officials believe that was the source of the carbon monoxide leak.

One elderly resident of the apartment building told The Post-Crescent that it doesn’t have carbon monoxide detectors. 

The city fire inspector and building inspector will be paying a visit to the building’s landlord Monday. Let’s hope that they recommend CO detectors.   

A Pennsylvania family got carbon monoxide poisoning last Thursday, the fifth such case in Allegheny County since the start of what local authorities call the heating season, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/s_764230.html?_s_icmp=NetworkHeadlines#

On Thursday emergency personnel were called to a two-story duplex in Wilkinsburg, Pa., when there was a report that someone was suffering from abdominal pain. The EMTs found five children and two adults who were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, and the family was hospitalized.

Authorities investigating the incident discovered that “someone had improperly vented the furnace exhaust through a clothes dryer duct,” which raised the CO level in the duplex’s basement to 1,000 parts per million, a fatal level, the Tribune-Review reported.

In Allegheny County, the health department designates the heating season as Oct. 1 through May 31. Last year there were 33 incidents of accidental carbon monoxide during that period, according to the newspaper.

And from October 2009 to May 2010, there were three deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning among the 31 incidents reported, according to the Tribune-Review.   

Carbon monoxide poisoning took the lives of two cousins, one who had been celebrating his birthday, and two pit bulls in South Milwaukee this weekend, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/117962754.html

Authorities ruled the deaths of Juan Vasquez, who turned 29 on Saturday, and his cousin Noe Ramirez-Abriz, 28, as accidental. Their cousin had lent them his car to go to a dance in Milwaukee to celebrate Vasquez’s birthday.

The bodies of the two men were discovered in that vehicle by the wife of the cousin that the men both lived with, Sebastian Corona Ambriz. His wife Silvia Corona woke up 2 a.m. Sunday to take care of her baby, and she noticed that the home’s garage door was ajar and that the light was on. 

She went back to sleep, assuming that Vasquez and Ramirez-Abriz had returned from the dance and were inside the home.

But later Sunday morning when it was discoverd that the pair weren’t in the house, the wife went back to the garage and saw that its door was closed.

She found the two men’s bodies in the front seat of the car, with the family’s two pit bulls in the back seat, also dead.