VA Beach, VA. – Fire officials say a family of five living on Kenya Lane in Virginia Beach is lucky to be alive after their home filled with carbon monoxide.

“This is a very dangerous situation,” says the fire department’s Tim Riley. “When the fire department arrived we found the carbon monoxide levels at 1000 parts per million – which in layman terms could equate to death within 2 to 3 hours.

Fire officials say a portable generator underneath the home is what caused the toxic levels of the gas.

Officials say the family had been using the generator because their power had been shut off.

Fire officials say the family did not have a carbon monoxide detector and when they arrived at the home around midnight the adult and four children who live here all had carbon monoxide poisoning.

“An adult woke up with flu like symptoms, which is one of the first signs of carbon monoxide poisoning,” says Riley.

“She then struggled to wake up her children (and) picked them up and removed them and they were on the front porch when the fire department arrived. The children were nearly unconscious.”

Queen plumber lives next to the family and knew they didn’t have electricity.

“I didn’t see any lights on for a long time.”

Queen says she didn’t know about the family was using a portable generator to power their home, and she wishes she could have helped them.

“Maybe if I talked to her more or something the children would have been staying here.”

Fire officials say the family is out of the hospital and should be ok. Neighbors say the family is staying with relatives.