Byron Center, MI – It was a frightening morning for a Kent County couple after their children suddenly became sick and family pets came close to death.

Matt and Beverly Rousch say it was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. “Our kids almost died this morning,” Matt said. “The doctor said about 30 more minutes and they would have been gone.”

It started around 2 a.m. Wednesday, when they were asleep at their Byron Center home. “We were awoken by our daughter screaming, saying that her belly hurt and she had a headache,” said Matt. “She normally doesn’t cry like that, so we knew something was wrong.”

“She ended up fainting, so Matt called 911. When I was taking care of her, he went to check on Casey,” said Beverly. “Casey said he was OK, but a minute later he started having problems, too.”

Matt and Beverly got everyone out of the house. When emergency crews arrived, they found high levels of carbon monoxide in the home.The children were taken to the hospital. Their CO levels were so high they were put on oxygen for three hours.

In the end, everyone recovered, even the family’s pets who were left behind.

The family believes it was a faulty furnace that caused the carbon monoxide poisoning. They had noticed it turning on more than usual and set up an appointment for a check-up on Friday.

They also thought they had carbon monoxide detectors. “We thought we had a combination smoke and CO detectors, but ours were only smoke detectors,” said Matt. Those have since been thrown out, and Matt has purchased new alarms.”Something so simple almost cost us our family.”