Four survive carbon monoxide poisoning incident

LINCOLN PARK — Firefighters rescued a family of four who had suffered carbon monoxide poisoning Monday night.


A 32-year-old man living at a house in the 1500 block of Ferris called about 11 p.m. to say that he was not feeling well and was concerned about three other people in the house, including a 29-year-old woman and two boys ages 10 and 7.


The woman was in critical condition when firefighters arrived, and the boys were unable to move; all three were unconscious.


Fire Chief Kenneth Elmore said that because carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can be masked and sometimes look similar to those of other conditions, it took a few minutes to determine what had happened. After assessing the people in the house, firefighters then set up monitoring equipment that determined the cause of the residents’ health issues.


Firefighters evacuated the residents and found that an electrical generator and two propane space heaters were being used inside the house. All of the devices then were shut off.


The four residents were taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital, Elmore said, and adults remained there while the children were taken to Children’s Hospital of Michigan. The boys and the woman were placed temporarily in hyperbaric chambers, he said, and as of Thursday everyone was believed to have been treated and released.


Elmore said the house is up for sale and that he is unsure of the conditions under which the people were living in it. Regardless of the circumstances, he said, it’s never a good idea to operate fossil fuel-burning heaters or generators in confined spaces because carbon monoxide is part of the exhaust.


“Those folks are lucky to be alive,” Elmore said. “Our guys did a great job.”


Police Department officials said the incident is being investigated but declined to discuss any details.