Fumes from grill send family to hospital
A Magnolia family of five was hospitalized Wednesday with carbon monoxide poisoning after using a charcoal grill to heat their mobile home, according to the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office.
There have been many documented cases of carbon monoxide poisoning that have killed people throughout the nation," said Scott Burlin of the fire marshal's office. This situation in Magnolia on Wednesday could have easily resulted in five family members dying of CO poisoning."
The family, which includes four adults and a three-month-old infant, has their electricity turned off for more than a month. For several days, they had been using a charcoal grill and wood coals to heat their home. One of the adults woke up feeling ill on Wednesday and called 911 for an ambulance.
Three family members were taken to Conroe Regional Medical Center and two were sent to Tomball Hospital for treatment of symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. They are expected to recover, although two family members remained in the hospital overnight Wednesday.
The family told investigator they were burning oak log in the yard and when they became charcoal, they would load up the grill and bring it into the mobile home to use for heat.
The fire marshal's office said the practice is extremely dangerous because it creates an extreme fire hazard and can produce deadly amounts of carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning materials containing carbon. It can cause brain damage and death and is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in America, causing 500 death and 15,000 emergency hospital visits a year.
Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning such as headaches, nausea, and fatigue, are often mistaken for the flu because the deadly gas goes undetected in a home.
To avoid becoming a victim of carbon monoxide, the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office strongly recommends the following:
Have working smoke detectors in your home.
Have carbon monoxide detectors as well in your home.
Never burn charcoal or an open flame inside a home for heat or cooking purposes.
Have gas heating furnace checked annually for leaks by a licensed HVAC service technician
Keep all space heaters at least three feet away from combustibles.
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