Prince George, MD – Gazette.Net – The Prince George’s Fire Department is urging caution after carbon monoxide levels 18 times above normal were detected at a Camp Springs home, sending six people to the hospital.

The incident occurred shortly before midnight Dec. 13 on the 5900 block of Cable Avenue. Firefighters used metering devices to detect carbon monoxide levels as high as 900 parts per million in the basement. The fire department reports that 50 parts per million is a normal level.

Paramedics afterward treated the residents, and then sent three adults and three children to local hospitals for further treatment.

According to the fire department, carbon monoxide – a potentially lethal substance – kills more than 2,100 people annually. It is colorless and odorless, and can be generated by a fuel-burning appliance that malfunctions or is improperly installed.

The carbon monoxide at the home in Camp Springs was found in the highest levels near the basement furnace.

Carbon monoxide poisoning leads to symptoms similar to that of the flu: dizziness, headaches, nausea and fatigue.

The county fire department urges residents to have their furnaces professionally inspected and cleaned. They also ask residents to ensure their homes are well ventilated, and that they also have a working carbon monoxide alarm.