Louisville, KY – LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) — Two Louisville families are lucky to be alive after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning in their homes.

The Okolona Fire Department responded to two separate carbon monoxide leaks Wednesday morning, Dec. 16. Firefighters were dispatched to the 5300 block of Red Fern Road around 10 a.m. for a possible carbon monoxide leak. Minutes later, crews were dispatched just a few blocks down the road to a second carbon monoxide complaint in the 5200 block of Regent Way.

Families at both homes complained of nausea, headaches, and dizziness. A total of eight people, two adults and two children from each home, were transported to local hospitals for treatment.

Okolona Fire Marshal Mike Allendorf said firefighters found dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide inside both homes. The leaks were traced back to furnaces at each location.

Allendorf said it appeared the furnace at the home on Regent Way was in “deplorable condition” and in the process of undergoing repairs, but noted that many wires were exposed and improper or unsafe materials were being used.

“Whoever did the work was probably not a professional,” Allendorf said. “If you have any type of work done to a furnace or water heater call the professionals. Let them install it because they have to take classes on the international mechanical code, which governs the installation of these devices, and they’re trained to do itIf you don’t know what you’re doing you’re putting your family at risk.”

Allendorf said homeowners should have their furnaces professionally inspected and cleaned annually. Additionally, homeowners should have working carbon monoxide detectors inside their home. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends installing battery-operated or battery back-up CO detectors near every sleeping area.