In a tragic accident, carbon monoxide fumes leaking from a malfunctioning furnace killed 29-year-old Angela Collins and sent 3 other people, including Angela’s 10-year-old son, to the hospital in serious condition. As reported in the Columbus Dispatch, an acquaintance of the Central Ohio residents was concerned when they didn’t arrive at a scheduled meeting yesterday and went to their Reynoldsburg home. Through a window, the individual saw someone collapsed on the floor and called 911.
The four residents were unconscious when firefighters broke through the front door to rescue them. Collins was pronounced dead at the scene. Truro Township Fire Lt. Robert Conaway said carbon monoxide levels inside the home had reached 400 parts per million, high enough to kill an adult in 3 hours. The average carbon monoxide level in a home with gas appliances is 5 to 15 parts per million, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Columbia Gas employees were called in to investigate and found a malfunctioning furnace spewing out high levels of carbon monoxide. No carbon monoxide detectors were found in the home.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, every year carbon monoxide poisoning kills 400 Americans. An additional 4,000 people are hospitalized with CO poisoning, and exposure to carbon monoxide sends 20,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms every year. Because the symptoms of CO poisoning mimic the flu, most victims never realize they are at risk. Uninspected and poorly maintained gas furnaces are a primary cause of CO poisoning. If you experience dizziness, lethargy, headache, nausea and/or confusion, authorities recommend that you leave your house immediately and seek medical attention. You should not return to your home until the furnace and other gas appliances can be thoroughly inspected and repaired by a Lorain County heating professional. If you have not had your furnace inspected this winter, don’t put your family at risk. Schedule a heating performance check today.