La Crosse Fire Department: carbon monoxide detectors are important

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An area fire department said a carbon monoxide detector potentially saved lives at a duplex.

The La Crosse Fire Department said they were called to 717 Jackson Street just before 2:00 Friday morning for a smoke detector alarm.

The landlord replaced the battery on the smoke alarm, but Division Chief Craig Snyder said a fire captain noticed the duplex didn’t have a carbon monoxide detector.

“The landlord went out to his vehicle where he had some detectors inside, came in, installed the carbon monoxide detector and at that time fire crews left the scene,” said Snyder.

Snyder said firefighters were called back to the same duplex about half an hour later, because the carbon monoxide detector was going off.

Snyder said the problem was a faulty water heater in the basement.

No one was hurt.

“In this instance just having that carbon monoxide detector installed and properly working was able to alert the tenants that they did have a problem,” said Snyder.

Snyder said Wisconsin state law requires living spaces with a fuel burning appliance to have a carbon monoxide detector.

You’re also required to have one if you have an attached garage, even if you don’t have a fuel burning appliance.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal.

“Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous gas. It’s odorless, it’s colorless, it’s tasteless. It doesn’t make any sound when it’s coming out of your appliance whatsoever,” said Snyder.

The fire department said the incident is under investigation.

We called the owner of the duplex, but he declined to comment.

Wisconsin state law also landlords to provide tenants with carbon monoxide detectors.

If a tenant doesn’t have one or has a broken detector, he or she has to provide a written notice to the landlord who then has five days to install a working carbon monoxide detector.

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