Philadelphia, PA – KYW-TV -An entire family was almost killed while fending off the cold Tuesday. Six people were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes in their home in Philadelphia’s West Oak Lane neighborhood.

CBS 3’s Calvin Hughes reports the incident occurred without warning and now two adults and four children are listed in serious condition at Einstein Medical Center.

A faulty heater was what sent carbon monoxide racing through the home on the 8500 block of Thouron Avenue in West Oak Lane. The poisonous fumes quickly sickened the family and as a result, they were all rushed to the hospital for treatment.

Philadelphia Gas Works arrived on scene to shut off the gas to the home. They also checked a nearby home to make sure it was in fact safe as well.

“They said that it was safe and that it was something that you couldn’t detect. You can’t smell it, you can’t see it, but they say it’s alright so I’m assuming,” said neighbor Ashley McSwain.

Hughes has learned that only an estimated 27-percent of all homes actually have carbon monoxide detectors.

CBS 3’s Public Safety Consultant Harold Hairston says that more than 70-percent of all homes are susceptible to the fatal fumes: “It’s colorless, it’s odorless, it’s tasteless, it’s the silent killer, and it kills quite a few people every single year.”

Hughes says symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include nausea, headache, and flu-like signs without sniffling.

“They think they don’t need these carbon monoxide detectors but believe me, you need them and you really ought to get them. They’re cheap and it’s good insurance for you,” Hairston added.

The cost of carbon monoxide detectors range anywhere from $25 to $50 and a typical home should have at least three with recommended placement near your bedroom and basement.