By Jessica Bock, KRONENWETTER – Four family members treated for carbon monoxide poisoning credit their dog, Butch, with saving their lives.

Butch, an Alaskan husky, whimpered and whined early Monday morning until Carla Marten awoke. She collapsed after Butch awakened her, but she regained consciousness and called out for her husband, Steve, who dialed 911 just before 4 a.m.

“He knew something was wrong,” said Steve Marten, 37. “He saved our lives.”

Carla and their 10-year-old son, Mitchell, escaped outside as Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy Steven DeNovi and an emergency service worker carried 16-year-old Shana Marten, who was unconscious, out to the front lawn. She had been sleeping in a bedroom on the lower level of the James Street home. That’s where the Kronenwetter Fire Department detected the highest levels of carbon monoxide, and authorities determined the furnace was the source of the problem, Marten said.

All four family members were taken to Community Health Care Wausau Hospital. Shana Marten was listed in serious condition on Monday and was expected to be released today. Steve, Carla and Mitchell came home Monday morning.

As for Butch, he was doing fine after getting a lot of fresh air and family attention on Monday. “He hasn’t left my side,” Steve Marten said.

High levels of carbon monoxide can kill a person in minutes. Hundreds of people accidentally die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning after a fuel-burning appliance malfunctions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Have your oil and gas furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances inspected by a professional at the beginning of each heating season.