Crystal Lake, PA – By Scott Schaffer, 16 News – A family in Susquehanna County is expected to be okay after carbon monoxide forced them from their home early Wednesday morning. What happened at the home near Crystal Lake is also raising questions about heating safety and carbon monoxide detectors.
Fire crews said when they arrived at the home they found carbon monoxide levels more than 100 times higher than normal. Six people who lived there, three adults and three children, all went to the hospital.
“Two of them were semi-conscious and the other ones you could tell had indications of carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Clifford Township Assistant Fire Chief Dan O’Rourke.
According to a relative all six family members are okay.
A broken part on their propane furnace is blamed for the leak of deadly gas. Their carbon monoxide alarms might have saved their lives.
“Carbon monoxide alarms are as important today as smoke alarms. There should be one on each level of the structure,” O’Rourke added.
“That’s why they call it the silent killer. You don’t smell it, you don’t know it’s there until it’s too late,” said heating contractor Wayne Pisanchyn. Propane, he pointed out, burns very similarly to gas and both pose a threat of carbon monoxide if the heating system is poorly maintained, or if the ventilation system is blocked.
Pisanchyn said once your carbon monoxide alarm goes off you should consider getting a new one. “Once they are activated, they did their job. They should be replaced.”
The family in Susquehanna County had their furnace fixed and their carbon monoxide alarms replaced all within hours of the incident. If such an accident happens again at this home they’ll be ready before the lights go out for good.