DETROIT (WWJ) – A family trying to keep warm using a generator in their home, after losing power, almost pay the ultimate price.
A 22-year-old mother and her two young children are recovering in the hospital after it appears they were exposed to carbon monoxide.
Detroit Fire Department Captain Chris Dixon says they got a call around 1 a.m. Thursday to a home on Montrose street.
“They were transported to Detroit Receiving Hospital for possible carbon monoxide due to a portable generator in the basement,” says Dixon.
Carbon monoxide, or “CO,” is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you.
He says the family thought they were safe because they had windows open — it’s an assumption that can be a deadly mistake.
The father, who was also in the home, felt sick but did not seek medical attention.
The Center’s for Disease Control says that each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.