Niles, MI- Judi Lykowski, WDNU – A Niles family trying to keep warm this winter, nearly met tragedy when their furnace started leaking carbon monoxide.

It’s a situation that could happen to anyone.

Silent killer

David and Autumn Summerton live in Niles, with their three-year-old son. Last Friday, the Summerton family had a close encounter with a notorious killer.

“We didn’t see anything. We would have went on like normal,” said David Summerton.

A loud, piercing sound alerted the Summerton’s and they left their home immediately. The sound the family heard was a carbon monoxide detector.

They took their son out of the home as a precaution, but when they returned, the Summerton’s were troubled to find that they were unable to smell or see anything. Thankfully, the family of three heard the detector sounding loudly.

The Summerton’s immediately called the Niles Fire Department, and Rory Iwaniuak responded to the Summerton’s call. “At that time, we ran the meter near the furnace and we had 1300 parts per million,” he explained.

Iwaniuak says if it weren’t for the detector alerting the family, letting them know their furnace was leaking carbon monoxide, they might not be alive today.

“Thirteen-hundred is pretty bad. It’s death within a few hours if not sooner,” Iwaniuak said.

Each year, the so-called silent killer takes hundreds of lives without warning.