A woman and her infant son could have died if their home did not have a carbon monoxide detector, Washington Fire Chief Bill Halmich said.
Halmich said firefighters responded last Thursday, Jan. 3, to a home at 3195 Highway A, in the Krakow area, to a report of a carbon monoxide detector going off.
Lindsay Klemm, 23, was putting her son, Mason, 1, to bed when she heard the alarm about 8 p.m. and called 911. A dispatcher then told her to get out of the house, Halmich noted.
The woman took her son and waited in a car for firefighters to arrive.
“Our guys didn’t even get inside the house before the testing meter began going off,” Halmich said. When they checked the interior they found “lethal doses of carbon monoxide in the house,” the fire chief said.
“She did the right thing. If they (Klemm and her son) had gone to sleep, they likely would not have woken up,” Halmich remarked.
He said the home had a propane hot water heater and a propane furnace. Firefighters turned off the gas to both after entering the home, then tested both appliances. They believe the problem was in the furnace.
Halmich said everyone who heats their home with fossil fuel appliances should have a carbon monoxide detector.
Even fully electric homes should have one if the house has an attached garage, the fire chief noted.
The detector should be placed near or in the bedroom to alert people who are asleep, he said.
Halmich also strongly recommends that people have their furnaces inspected annually.