Fremont, NE – KETV – Members of a Fremont family are home after they were overcome by carbon monoxide in their home Monday night.
Nikki and Dustin Weitzel and their son, Cooper, were in their home when the baby started screaming. Nikki Weitzel passed out twice and Dustin Weitzel had to help her out of the house.
“Thank goodness he was crying and woke up, otherwise I may never have woken up,” said Nikki, Weitzel remembering how her son screamed in pain.
Dustin Weitzel immediately thought of carbon monoxide poisoning. He went downstairs to check the furnace and said something didn’t seem right. He took the family to a hospital.
A blood check revealed high levels of carbon monoxide. Nikki Weitzel’s blood was 37 percent carbon monoxide and Cooper’s was 26 percent. Dustin had a 20 percent level, even though he had been in the house for less time that his wife and son.
The normal level of carbon monoxide in the blood is 1 percent and 5 percent for a smoker.
“This is a really scary experience,” Nikki Weitzel said.
The family spent Tuesday in the hospital breathing pure oxygen. They will all be fine, doctors told them.
The Weitzels are spreading the word: Check your furnace. A technician that came to look at theirs told them the carbon monoxide was able to leak into their home because the panels were switched around. The top venting panel was placed over the bottom, where a solid panel belongs.
The family also recommends a carbon monoxide detector. Theirs was faulty on the night they were sickened.
Experts say homes with fuel-burning appliances or an attached garage are more likely to have carbon monoxide problems. Look for these signs of trouble:
Streaks of soot around fuel-burning appliances;
Excess moisture found on windows, walls or other cold surfaces;
Fallen soot in the fireplace;
Damaged or discolored bricks at the top of your chimney.