IL – Daily Times, Jason Carson Wilson –

Doug Arrowsmith said the simple act of shutting his bedroom door nearly cost him and new wife, Tracey, their lives.

Arrowsmith and his family almost succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning last month.

“The heat duct was pumping everything into our room,” Arrowsmith said.He credited his 9-year-old stepson, Sam, and a higher being with preventing them from dying of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“God woke him up,” Doug said.He said Sam’s screaming woke he and Tracey between 3 and 4 a.m. Doug said Sam came into their room, complaining of a stomachache and headache.

Doug said he nearly fell into the closet, when he got up to go to the bathroom.”I was in such a fog,” Doug said.

He said was in a cold sweat and became dizzy during his short trip. According to Doug, he finally collapsed on the couch. “I felt like I had the worst hangover,” Doug said.

He said Tracey, who was also beginning to feel ill, eventually found him in the living room and asked why he hadn’t returned to bed.

While going downstairs to check on his 5-year-old stepdaughter, Alex, Doug realized everyone was sick. Since he was unsure what was causing the problem, Doug wondered whether he should call 911.

While pondering what to do, Doug said, he opened a window.

“As soon as I took a deep breath, I felt 100 percent better,” he said. He decided that he should call the fire department.

Tracey said she couldn’t believe what was happening when Doug suggested it could be carbon monoxide poisoning.”‘No, it’s not. It can’t be …’ I was in shock,” she said.Tracey said the fresh air didn’t help her. She also said their two dogs seemed unaffected.

Doug said fire officials quickly learned what was causing the problem.”Their sensors were going off,” he said.

Doug said he drove his wife and stepchildren to Pekin Hospital, took their two dogs to his sister’s home and returned to the house. By then, he said, a CILCO worker had arrived. But Doug said the worker’s carbon monoxide detector wasn’t working.

Doug said he went to Wal-Mart to buy a detector and almost collapsed. While still in shock, Doug said he chalked up most of his symptoms to fatigue.”I figured I was just aching from work,” Doug said.

When he got back to the house, Doug said, the furnace was kept running to keep the pipes from freezing. He said the furnace was pumping out carbon monoxide. Doug said his detector gave a 19.5 reading. According to Doug, he was told a reading of 25 is critical.

“I think we were really lucky that Sam woke us.He saved our (lives),” Doug said. The furnace had a cracked heat exchanger, Doug said. She said the house was inspected in June and the furnace was cleaned in September.

He said it’s taken a while to grasp the gravity of the situation.”I don’t think it’s quite sunk in … what could have happened,” Arrowsmith said.