Mount Vernon, WA – Skagit Valley Herald – A carbon monoxide leak left a Mount Vernon man and his two teenaged daughters suffering from headaches, dizziness and nausea Wednesday evening, firefighters said.

But the problem with a faulty furnace could have been much worse.

Firefighters said the levels of carbon monoxide inside the house were high enough that the three people could have suffered convulsions within an hour.

Last week in Seattle, a 48-year-old man was found dead near his basement furnace from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. In that case, the man’s wife and daughters suffered dizziness and nausea and firefighters found “extremely high” levels of the gas inside the three-story North Beach home.

The Mount Vernon leak was detected by the man and his daughters who called Cascade Gas complaining of a strange odor and headaches. The three had been at the home for about 15 minutes before they began to notice the problems, Assistant Fire Chief Glenn Brautaset said.

The father said he had been experiencing headaches and other flu-like symptoms each morning for a couple of weeks, Brautaset said. But by the time he arrived at work each day, the symptoms had faded.

Neither the father nor his daughters were hospitalized. All three said they felt better after breathing fresh air outside. It look about two hours to clear the carbon monoxide from their home.

To prevent such problems, Brautaset recommended that homeowners buy a carbon monoxide sensor and have their furnaces checked annually by an expert.