Madison, WI- An East Side man was fortunate he had a carbon monoxide alarm installed in December by the Madison Fire Department. The alarm saved his life early Friday morning.

Firefighters were called to the man’s home shortly after midnight after he was awakened by the CO alarm, alerting the resident to carbon monoxide gas in the home.

“A monitor showed a reading of 60 parts per million and climbing,” said spokeswoman Lori Wirth. “The crew immediately began to ventilate the home to release the deadly gas.”

A reading taken inside the furnace chimney stack was over 2,000 ppm, when it should have been under 100 ppm in the stack.

“Madison Gas and Electric came to the scene, and found a problem with the furnace,” Wirth said. “The furnace was at least 70 years old and was producing deadly levels of carbon monoxide in the stack, pushing it into the living areas.”

The Madison Fire Department’s program of providing free smoke alarms and CO alarms to qualified residents ends in April.

Residents in Madison and Shorewood Hills who own their own home and have either someone 65 or older, 5 or younger or with a disability living in the residence can qualify for the program.

Qualified residents get smoke alarms and CO alarms installed, free of charge.