Detroit, MI – Two women and a boy were rushed to a hospital this afternoon after suffering suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.
Fire crews found a gas-powered generator running in the basement and high carbon monoxide levels in the home on the 18000 block of Barlow, near 7 Mile Road and Hoover, said Detroit Fire Capt. Gene Biondo. An emergency call came in just before 3:30 p.m.
A 20-year-old woman and a 27-year-old woman were conscious when firefighters arrived, Biondo said. A 9-year-old boy was unconscious but still breathing.
They had a big generator running inside the house. I guess they were trying to run the furnace with that, Biondo said. The (carbon monoxide) levels, after we opened up everything, were still over 103, after we aired it out. … Under 20 is safe.
Biondo said the house did not appear to have electricity. The people living there kept gasoline to fuel the generator in the basement, he said.
A HAZMAT team was called out to measure the carbon monoxide levels. Biondo said the propertys landlord was also at the scene this afternoon.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas found in combustion fumes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. When inhaled, it can cause illness or even death.
According to the Michigan Department of Community Health, there were 22 unintentional deaths and 934 nonfatal unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings in Michigan in 2011. Ninety-eight of those people were poisoned from carbon monoxide produced by generators and 23 from using a cooktop or oven as a heat source, the agency said.
Dont put gas generators in a house, Biondo said. (Carbon monoxide) needs to be ventilated.
An update on the condition of the women and the boy was not immediately available.