Local News

4 children taken to hospital after CO exposure

Posted November 4, 2019 3:19 p.m. EST
Updated November 4, 2019 6:31 p.m. EST

— Four children were sicked Monday morning by exposure to carbon monoxide in a Garner rental home.

The home, at 1314 W. Garner Road, was the scene of a deadly fire in 1996. Three children were killed in that fire.

On Monday, authorities said, the deadly gas seeped into the home from a generator outside.

Fire rescue crews were alerted to the dangerous conditions by emergency staff at WakeMed hospital, who reported that four people had arrived in the emergency department with high levels of carbon monoxide in their blood.

Tim Herman, deputy chief of Garner Fire Rescue, said the home was getting power from two exterior generators placed very close by.

Herman said carbon monoxide can get in through soffits in the roof, windows or other vent openings.

"Portable generators can cause up to 100 times more carbon monoxide than a running vehicle, so it has to be properly ventilated," Herman said. "(You) certainly don't want to use it inside a home, and they recommended if you're using it outside your home that it is at least 15 feet away."

Garner Fire Rescue gets about 40 calls a year for carbon monoxide exposure. The usual causes are gas-burning appliances like logs, ovens or furnaces, but engines like generators or cars can also produce it.

"It’s odorless, colorless, you don’t know you’re breathing it, so having that carbon monoxide detector is key," Herman said.

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