Fire chief demonstrates how quickly Carbon Monoxide levels can rise

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) -- "You can't smell it, hear it taste it or see it," said Bloomer Fire Chief Brian Bleskacek.

He is talking about Carbon Monoxide - a dangerous and deadly gas.

On Monday night, a Bloomer family was running a gas engine in one of their rooms to power a well. Normally that room is closed off from the rest of the house but a window was accidentally left open.

"Within that 30 minute time frame we had three unconscious people and others with symptoms," he said.

The levels were beyond dangerous. He says 35 parts per million is considered the level when people start experiencing symptoms of poisoning.

"I would assume that motor was kicking out 100 or higher parts per million," he said.

Luckily the family was able to get out of the house. Chief Bleskacek says typically when Carbon Monoxide levels reach 35 parts per million is when people start experiencing symptoms of poisoning. And those C.O. levels can add up very quick.

The chief showed us using a fire truck and a commercial Carbon Monoxide Detector how quickly the numbers can surpass 35 parts per million.

After the experiment the numbers dropped quickly back into the safe zone but were still above zero.

So how do you prevent this from happening in your daily life?

First, wait to close your garage when you pull your car in.

"Don't close your overhead door until after the air has had time to cycle in and out," he said.

If you get stuck on the side of the road, make sure your exhaust pipe is clear. And at home, make sure your furnace's exhaust is free of snow.

"Your exhaust is not being ventilated which is potentially going to funnel back into your living quarters," he added.

And of course, get a Carbon Monoxide Detector. Preferably one with a digital display.

"Digital read out is more expensive but at least you know you have a problem," he said.

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On Monday night shortly before midnight (11:48PM) the Chippewa County 911 Center received a phone call from the residence of Enos Yoder 7632 CTH AA Town of Bloomer requesting assistance as his family is passing out and he is having difficulty waking some members of the family.

The communications center advised Mr Yoder to move his family out of the residence and fire and EMS would be responding. The residence was occupied by 2 adults and 5 children ranging in age from 3 to 12 years old.

Bloomer Fire, Bloomer Ambulance, City of Chippewa Falls Fire Rescue, Chippewa Fire District Paramedics and three medical helicopters were dispatch to the scene.

All occupants were assessed and determined to be suffering from varying degrees of carbon monoxide poisoning. The family refused medical transport and left the scene in private vehicles en-route to Mayo Hospital Bloomer.

No updates of the families condition is known at the time of this release.
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BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) -- Bloomer Fire and Rescue responded to a call Monday night reporting several family members may have been exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The incident occurred at a home on Country Road AA in rural Bloomer.

When crews arrived at the scene two adults and five children were assessed by medical personnel at the scene.

Advanced Life Support ambulances from the City of Chippewa Falls and the Chippewa Fire District were also dispatched along with the Mayo One Helicopter.

Most were treated at the scene and released, some victims were transported by private vehicle to the Bloomer Hospital.

There's no word on the cause of the possible CO2 levels in the home.


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