Towanda, NY- Many people are using generators to power their homes while they wait for crews to turn their electricity back on. However, some aren’t using their generators the right way. Experts say that’s dangerous and can be fatal. News 4 has more on an incident that happened Tuesday morning.
Hundreds of people are buying gas generators to make their lives better during the outage, but in some cases, they’re making things far worse.
One case happened on Traverse Boulevard in the Town of Tonawanda.
Brighton firefighters helped two people out of bed Tuesday morning, and took them to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning.
They had been running a gas generator, and the exhaust fumes were circulating through their heating vents. They were still conscious but the carbon monoxide level in their house was 97 parts per million, which over time could have been very dangerous.
Brighton Fire Department Capt. Don Connolly said, “…just gotta use common sense with the placement of the generators. Also, I think there should be a criteria before people just buy a generator. It’s no more dangerous than a gun in the hands of some people. We’ve had them placed in the breezeways where the garage and the household have been filling up, so it’s a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands.”
On Monday, the exhaust fumes from a generator running in a back hallway was enough to kill 87 year old Rose Walker, and her upstairs tenant 91 year old Izal Bowick. They weren’t found until it was too late.
The same thing happened on Highview Circle in Lackawanna. Generator exhaust fumes killed 78 year old Arthur Damstetter.
Nearly two hundred people have been taken to hospitals in Western New York since Thursday for carbon monoxide poisoning, and fire crews cannot stress enough that anyone using a generator should keep it completely outside, in a way that none of the exhaust gets in the house.