Monday, December 7, 2009

Carbon monoxide detector credited with waking Lebanon family who suffered signs of poisoning

By Joey
Saturday, December 5, 2009
LEBANON, Maine — A carbon monoxide detector is credited with waking seven people in a North Lebanon residence early Friday morning who suffered signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, authorities say.All seven people were later hospitalized. They were all part of the same family, including a 41-year-old father, 37-year-old mother and five children, ages 3, 7, 9, 12 and 14. Because of confidentiality laws, authorities were unable to provide the exact address or the identities of the people.Lebanon Rescue and Fire departments responded to a North Lebanon residence to investigate a carbon monoxide alarm going off this morning at 3:51 a.m.

Lebanon Rescue Assistant Chief Jason Cole was first on scene at 3:56 a.m. He found all seven occupants of the home outside in a vehicle awaiting emergency crews. The father of the family told Cole they were showing signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, including respiratory distress, sore throats, minor headaches and upset stomachs, Cole said in a statement."Fortunately the family woke up because of their carbon monoxide detector and quickly evacuated. When the fire crews arrived, they had readings in parts of the house of 91 ppm, which is a lot higher than it should be. The average reading in the house was 55 ppm and then one area near the propane cooking stove of 91 ppm. This is a great example of why carbon monoxide detectors are critical in every house. The family was sound asleep and the alarm was the only thing that woke them up," Cole said.Due to the family's complaints of illness and the high readings in the home, Lebanon and Shapleigh ambulances took the seven people to Goodall Hospital in Sanford. Lebanon Rescue has responded to seven carbon monoxide alarms and emergencies in 2009. On Feb. 13, a 48-year-old North Lebanon man was transported to the hospital after a serious carbon monoxide exposure while working in his garage. The readings in the garage were nearly 500 ppm and the male was unresponsive, Cole said. Emergency crews were still at the scene at 7:15 a.m. working with the propane company. Acton and Shapleigh provided mutual aid.The Lebanon Rescue Department has safety information and brochures available for residents to read. If interested, contact Chief Samantha Cole at (207) 608-5615 or More information is also available at the department's website,