Sierra Vista, AZ-

Five people were sent to a hospital after exposure to carbon monoxide Friday evening.

The carbon monoxide scare occurred about 6:30 p.m. at a residence on Moonglow Street in the Cloud Nine area, authorities said. Two people from the home and three firefighters who responded to the call were taken to Sierra Vista Regional Health Center for treatment and/or evaluation, officials said.

Responding to a call of a possible cardiac arrest, crews arrived on scene and found a male in his 50s who was unconscious and unresponsive. Medics initiated a quick response, Fire Marshal Paul Cimino said, adding that it was determined only after a subsequent investigation that the man could be suffering from carbon monoxide exposure.

Upon entering the home, Cimino said, medics noticed a charcoal barbecue grill was being used indoors as an alternative heating source. Fire personnel felt it necessary to transport to the hospital a second person who was in the home at the time, a female also in her 50s.

Crews ran tests and discovered the carbon monoxide level in the home was at 180 parts per million, Cimino said. According to [1], carbon monoxide becomes toxic at levels above 50 parts per million and can result in brain damage or death at levels of 400 parts per million.

Although the man was unconscious when medics arrived, the woman was alert and responsive. All three firefighters who were evaluated had no complaints of symptoms. However, Cimino said, the crew was evaluated and given toxicology tests as a precaution.

The condition of the two who where sent to Sierra Vista Regional Health Center is not yet known.

Carbon monoxide is a common byproduct of the combustion of fossil fuels.

Safety tips from [2]

• Have a qualified technician install and regularly inspect all fuel burning appliances

• Regularly inspect fireplaces and chimneys to ensure proper ventilation

• At the beginning of every heating season, have a trained professional check all your fuel-burning appliances such as oil and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges and ovens, gas dryers, gas or kerosene space heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves.

• Install and maintain appliances according to the manufacturers’ instructions.

• Never use a gas or charcoal barbecue indoors

• Never start a car or gas-run lawn mower or snow blower in a closed space.

• Never sleep in a room heated by a gas or kerosene space heater that lacks proper venting.

• Never use a portable generator indoors. When portable generators are placed in areas such as garages, sheds, or enclosed spaces, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning multiplies threefold.

• Make a point of actually installing your carbon monoxide detector and not leave it hanging around in your tool boxes or on workbenches.