A family of eight was back in their home Monday after a carbon monoxide scare Friday night sent eight people to hospitals.
Renita Kellan was home Monday, making doctors appointments for the children and thankful for neighbors who roused the kids and got them out of the house.
Pleasant Prairie firefighters and medics were called at 11:25 p.m. Friday to 955 92nd St. for a report of a woman ill.
When they arrived, an 18-year-old woman was unconscious on the lawn, two more were unconscious next to a generator in the basement and five children were reportedly on the ground level of the home.
Firefighters rescued the women while neighbors awakened the children and got them out of the house. All were taken to hospitals, where they were treated and later released for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Kenosha firefighters tested the air in the home, and carbon monoxide registered 500 parts per million in the basement and lower level and 60 to 150 ppm elsewhere on the first floor.
However, Pleasant Prairie Fire Chief Paul Guilbert said the actual reading may have been as high as 900 ppm.
It just confirmed there was an awful lot of carbon monoxide in there, Guilbert said.
People begin showing signs of CO sickness dizziness, fatigue, headache at 100-200 ppm. Prolonged exposure over that can lead to death.
The Kellans were running the generator because Fridays storm had knocked out their power. The two women reportedly fell ill while checking on water that was leaking into the basement.
Neighbors Barb and Dan McKee were sitting outside their home when they noticed Eddie Kellan arrive home. Moments later, they saw Eddie struggling to get out the door.
My husband ran over there and said, Are you OK? Then he grabbed (Eddie) to pull him out and he saw the two bodies at the bottom of the stairs and the generator, Barb McKee said.
As an ambulance was arriving on the street, Dan McKee ran into the house and helped pull the others from the home, Barb said.
Guilbert praised rescuers for acting quickly and realizing they were heading into an unusual situation.
You have some person unconscious and you have people in the house who are unconscious, and you know youve got to go in and help them out, Guilbert said, adding the first two firefighters/medics to respond had less than a minute to don breathing gear.
Our two fire-medics quickly got that breathing apparatus on, went in the house, and two of them alone brought the unconcious female out and then got the other. Im very proud of what they did.
She said the Kellans had opened some windows on the ground level, which might have saved the children from further harm. Had a few more minutes passed, she said, the situation might have turned deadly.
McKee said the Kellans moved into the home six to eight weeks ago.
From the outside, we couldnt hear a thing, Barb McKee said. Nobody knew (a generator was running in the basement). Had we known, we would have definitely had them turn it off, open the windows and gotten them out of there. It was the scariest thing Ive ever see in in my life.
Guilbert reiterated gasoline-operated devices need oxygen to run, and that the human body requires a minimum of 21 percent oxygen in the atmosphere. When oxygen levels drop below 18 percent, people tend to exhibit signs such of oxygen deprivation such as confusion and loss of muscle control.
You might realize, Gee, I cant move my arms. I cant move my legs. Why is that? Guilbert said. And if youre exposed to the lack of oxygen long enough then you have death.
The Pleasant Prairie case was one of at least three calls firefighters received over the weekend as residents employed generators and pumps to get through power outages and remove water from rain-soaked basements.
Kenosha firefighters were called twice in about four hours to a Carthage College dormitory where a gas pump was being used to pump water from a lower level that had flooded.
According to a Kenosha Fire report, firefighters were called to the dorm at 10:21 p.m. Saturday by a security officer who heard the carbon monoxide detector going off.
Firefighters found readings of 8 ppm as they entered the building, and that number went up to 48 ppm in a hallway on the lower level of the dorm, the report said. But firefighters dropped the carbon monoxide levels to 0 ppm after running a fan for about 10 minutes.
At 2:07 a.m. Sunday, firefighters were called back to the dorm when the alarm sounded again. Firefighters found an area with 35 ppm but after calling gas technicians determined it was residue left over from the initial call.
No one at Carthage needed treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning.