CO Springs, CO – By Karla Shotts, KRDO – Three adults and six children were rushed to Memorial Hospital Thursday morning. Levels of carbon monoxide inside their home on Palmer Park Boulevard were 15-hundred times the safe limit. Investigators say every member of the family said they started feeling sick Wednesday night, Thursday morning, they smelled something that just wasn’t right and called 9-1-1 and Colorado Springs Utilities. They thought it was a gas leak.They had closed the windows, locked the doors tight to keep the chilly weather out. Instead, a colorless, odorless potentially deadly gas was inside with them. Fire department and Utilities workers responding to their call for help were also challenged by a language barrier.
When CSU responded, spokesperson Rachel Beck says, they found toxic levels of carbon monoxide, “We have leak detection devices and Carbon Monoxide detectors.” Lt. Brian Keys, with the Colorado Springs Fire Department, “The readings were close to 1500 parts per million and if they would have stayed in there all night, it may have been a problem.” He says normal levels are 1 to 2 parts per million. The family was evacuated and fans were used to get the bad air out. Everyone in the house was sick. Experiencing flu like symptoms, indicative of carbon monoxide poisoning. Lt. Keys, “Some with symptoms feeling a little like headache, dizzy and tired.”
Beck says Utilities believe they found the source of the potentially deadly CO levels,”The family had a big fire burning and had blocked the air intake vents to the house, when the furnace kicked on, the only air it could pull was inside the house, and it pulled the smokey air from the fireplace.” Investigators weren’t able to find a CO detector in the house but recommend that everyone have on to be safe, “We encourage everyone to have a CO detector in your home, just like a smoke detector in your home.”