Safford, AZ- A woman who used a natural gas-burning stove to heat her motel room was taken to the Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center for carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday.
Safford Police were dispatched to the Valley Motel at 1050 W. Thatcher Blvd. in Safford at about 2:41 p.m. in regard to a gas inhalation victim.
Upon arrival, a Safford officer discovered a female victim lying on the ground. She was breathing, but non responsive. Paramedics from Southwest Ambulance arrived and transported the vicim to the hospital’s emergency room.
According to a Safford Police report, ER staff later told the officer the victim was conscious but could not talk or move some of her extremities. As of Monday afternoon, the victim was listed as being in stable condition at the hospital, according to spokesperson Ryan Rapier.
The victim’s granddaughter allegedly told officers her grandmother was staying at the motel because of ongoing construction at her residence. She said she went to visit Sunday and did not get a response when she knocked on the door.
The woman said the room’s front window was open, so she had her child go through it and unlock the door. She then found her grandmother unconscious and smelled a strong odor of natural gas. The woman discovered two of the stove’s burners were lit.
Carbon monoxide is produced whenever a fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned. The amount of carbon monoxide produced depends mainly on the efficiency of combustion.
Common sources of carbon monoxide in a residence can come from improperly ventilated furnaces, chimneys and other appliances, as well as unvented appliances. Indoor use of a charcoal barbecue grill or using gas stoves and ranges in a prolonged, improper fashion such as using them to heat a residence can raise the carbon monoxide percentage in a residence to deadly levels.
Another common source for carbon monoxide during the winter is from unvented space heaters. Such appliances should never be used in a closed room.