Niles, MI- By SCOTT AIKEN, H-P Staff Writer
Three members of a Niles family were treated at Lakeland Hospital here Tuesday night after symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure forced them out of their house, firefighters said.
A malfunctioning furnace or water heater is the suspected source of the odorless but deadly gas that forced Dan Jacobs, his wife and a child out of the house at 1638 Howard St., Niles Fire Lt. Jack Frost said.
Firefighters responded to an 11 p.m. call and found high levels of carbon monoxide in the structure.
Family members evacuated the house after experiencing nausea and other symptoms of CO poisoning.
Frost said the house was not equipped with a CO detector.
The natural gas supply was shut off and firefighters tested for CO in different parts of the house.
“A few feet inside the door the meters were going crazy,” Frost said.
The meters recorded CO levels of 320 parts per million upstairs, a level that can be fatal in four hours. A reading of 0-9 ppm is considered tolerable for humans, while a reading of 10-35 is marginal.
A level of 200 ppm or greater is dangerous and requires immediate evacuation. Firefighters opened windows and doors and the levels quickly dropped.
After being treated at Lakeland, the Jacobs family was able to return home, he said, but the furnace and water heater cannot be used until the source of the CO problem is found and repairs are made.