Albuquerque, NM – The New Mexico Channel – An attempt to stay warm almost cost an Albuquerque family their lives Thursday, authorities said.

The home filled with colorless, odorless carbon monoxide after a furnace was rigged.

“They fired their furnace up about 6 a.m. this morning,” said Capt. Kerry Horton, of the Albuquerque Fire Department. “We had extremely high carbon monoxide readings in the home. On investigation, the furnace had been rigged — improperly turned on.”

The three people in the home suffered carbon monoxide poisoning.

This is a mistake several New Mexico families typically make as winter nears.

“Every furnace boiler we start up, we check for carbon monoxide,” said Tim Starkey, of Academy Heating and Plumbing.

Starkey said he has seen the problem before.

He said each furnace should be checked before being turned on as temperatures drop.

“Make sure dampers are open, filters clean, doors on, flue pipe not clogged,” he said.

And check for gas leaks.

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, don’t even attempt it yourself,” said Starkey.

The home was ventilated, but the furnace will need to be fixed by a licensed repairman.

The family will be OK.

AFD said all homes should have a carbon monoxide detector.