Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Sends Ferndale Family to Hospital
A family of four was hospitalized the morning of January 21 for apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at a house in the 6600 block of Church Road in Ferndale, WA. Firefighters responded to the home about 1:50 a.m. after receiving a report of carbon monoxide poisoning with multiple patients. The home had two adults living upstairs who were evaluated and released to go to a friend’s house. They were advised to stay out of the house until an inspection could be done to identify the source of the carbon monoxide and repair the issue. The family of four living downstairs included two adults who were transported to PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s Medical Center in serious condition and two children who were transported in stable condition, according to Whatcom County Fire District 7 Division Chief Ben Boyko. Two family dogs were also removed from the home. One of the dogs seemed lethargic and was given oxygen by firefighters before both dogs were released to the care of the Whatcom County Humane Society.
Fire department monitors confirmed that they found high levels of carbon monoxide in the home; identifying the boiler as the likely source of the carbon monoxide, the firefighters secured the gas and power supply lines to it.
Boyko believes that no working carbon monoxide alarms were thought to be in place because no audible alarm could be heard.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in a central location such as a hallway outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. In some places local building laws, codes, or standards may require additional alarms. Alarms should be checked monthly to ensure that the batteries are still working.
The dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning
According to the Washington State Department of Health, Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a poisonous gas that cannot be seen or smelled and can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide can quickly build up to unsafe levels in enclosed or semi-enclosed areas.
Carbon monoxide poisonings are highest in January
A five-year study on carbon monoxide poisoning statistics between 1999 and 2004 was completed and released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in December, 2007. The research team found that January was the deadliest month of the year for carbon monoxide poisonings in the United States. They attributed at least two deaths per day from carbon monoxide poisoning in January, which was three times the carbon monoxide poisoning rate recorded in August and July. Unintentional exposure to carbon monoxide was the cause of 15,000 emergency room visits in each year of the study with an average of 439 people dying each year.
The rate of carbon monoxide poisoning is highest in the winter months for obvious reasons; the cold weather means more usage of gas-powered heaters, attempts to heat the home with an oven or other potentially hazardous power sources such as propane stoves and portable generators. It is also the time when people like to warm up their cars before starting the journey. The second highest month for carbon monoxide related deaths is December.
If you have lost a loved one, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and fair compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring, tireless and experienced wrongful death attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County and surrounding areas since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!