Port Huron, MI – A family of five has been hospitalized after officials said their Port Huron Township home filled with toxic levels of carbon monoxide.
Port Huron Township Fire Chief Craig Miller said crews were called to a residence in the 2700 block of North Range Road about 3 a.m. for people feeling ill.
When first responders entered the home, carbon monoxide detectors carried with them went off.
Miller said the family, two adults and three children, were quickly taken out of the home. He said one person was nearly unconscious.
Investigators found a loose exhaust pipe to the furnace was the cause of the poisoning.
Miller said there was not a carbon monoxide detector in the home.
He urges residents to have them.
“This is flu season, the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are the same as the flu,” he said.
“This could have easily been five bodies.”
The family was taken to a local hospital before being shipped to hospitals in Detroit.
Port Huron Fire Lt. Chris Shattuck said the early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headache, nausea, and weakness experienced by multiple people in the household.
Later signs can include very red skin and becoming unconscious.
Shattuck said small children and pets may be affected before adults.
While carbon monoxide poisoning at times is tied to indoor use of generators, Shattuck said carbon monoxide can be produced by any appliance that uses combustion.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can only be detected with a carbon monoxide detector.
When using a generator, ventilation is key to avoiding toxic levels of carbon monoxide, Shattuck said.
Making sure everyone has a working carbon monoxide detector is very important as well, Shattuck said.