Branford Fire Department Response Saves Residents in Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Incident
Press release from the Branford Fire Department
At 10:46 a.m. on June 27, Branford 911 dispatchers received a call from a concerned neighbor who noticed that a gas-powered electrical generator had been left running just outside of the neighbor’s open garage door. She said she had not observed any unusual activity from the occupants of the home. The fire department was immediately dispatched to investigate the incident.
Upon arrival, the deputy fire chief observed the reported generator still running just inside the open garage. As he approached the front door, his carbon monoxide detector went into alarm. He banged on the door, attempting to alert the residents and receiving no response, sent firefighters with protective gear inside to investigate.
The crew from Engine 1 arrived and immediately entered the home wearing self-contained breathing apparatus and reported high levels of carbon monoxide on the first floor. They began searching to find three people suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. All three were removed to the outside, where firefighters/paramedics treated them. Two additional family members returned home from work during the incident and reported having severe headaches. A total of five patients were treated and transported to area hospitals by Branford Fire Department ambulance crews.
The home had lost power, and the residents were using the generator as a temporary power source. The generator was not properly located, and the home did not have working carbon monoxide (CO) detectors.
Carbon monoxide from generators is completely colorless and odorless, so it is extremely difficult to tell if it is present. It could kill your family and your pets. Do not use a generator indoors or in partially enclosed spaces, including homes, garages, and crawl spaces — even those areas with partial ventilation. Do not operate near open doors and windows.
For more information, visit https://usfa.fema.gov/prevention/life-safety-hazards/carbon-monoxide.
This story had a happy ending because a concerned and observant neighbor “saw something and said something,” preventing what could have been a catastrophic outcome.