Anchorage, AK – Toxic levels of carbon monoxide killed a Big Lake woman Thursday morning.
Emergency crews responded to a home on Kyrsten Circle where they found an unresponsive man who was taken to the hospital in critical condition; a five-year-old girl and two people who tried to help the family were also transported.
“The outcome could have been better,” said James Keel, the West Lakes Fire Batallion Chief. “We found out there were no CO detectors in the home so there were no alarms when we got here this morning. I’d advise everyone to have their CO monitors checked. Get a detector put in if you are using a combustion system.”
Keel said it was caused by a combination of poor venting and a faulty boiler in a utility room. He said firefighters measured the levels at about 40 times above alert level.
Anchorage firefighters said as winter approaches, the number of carbon monoxide calls goes up.
“This time of year, as things get colder, people start secondary heat sources and their boiler and furnace. So we really encourage everyone to read the manufacturer’s label on that and the safety guidelines and also annually to have your heat source checked,” said Anchorage firefighter Ryan Staten.
He said it’s crucial for all homes to have a CO detector and for residents to check it twice a year.
“Never go without. Make sure you have one,” Staten said. “This is something we don’t ever want to see happen, so it’s very sad and anything we can do to prevent this in the future is what we want to do.”