POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Four people were reportedly sickened by carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday morning in Point Pleasant, W.Va.
Firefighters with the Point Pleasant Fire Department and personnel with Mason County EMS, received the call around 8:14 a.m. and were dispatched to a home in Burdette Addition, in the northern end of Point Pleasant.
Fire Chief Jeremy Bryant said upon arrival, two adults required immediate treatment and were transported to Pleasant Valley Hospital by Mason County EMS. Prior to arriving on scene, an additional adult and baby had departed to receive treatment at PVH, as well, Byrant said.
Bryant said firefighters shut off the natural gas and vented the home. Mountaineer Gas was also called to the scene. Bryant said it appears the home’s furnace had malfunctioned.
There were no carbon monoxide detectors in the home, Bryant said, adding, incidents like the one Tuesday morning, are a reminder of the dangers of the odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that can kill. Bryant said “you definitely need monitoring equipment” if you heat with alternative fuels. He said, also be sure your chimney is properly ventilated when burning wood and get your furnace checked before firing it up.
“Don’t take for granted that your furnace works, it could malfunction in the night and in the morning it might be too late,” Bryant said.
Bryant said he was told all the victims would make a full recovery.
According to the West Virginia Poison Center, since cold weather has struck the state this week, so have carbon monoxide poisonings. Again, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be produced when fuels do not burn completely. Obviously, carbon monoxide can sicken or kill those exposed to high concentrations.
If anyone living in the home (including pets) experiences sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, confusion, or weakness, immediately seek fresh air and call the West Virginia Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. If anyone is unconscious or having convulsions (seizures), call 911.
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, whether you are at home or at your hunting cabin, the West Virginia Poison Center offers these tips: Have gas appliances checked annually by a professional. Keep all chimneys and flues free of debris. Avoid the use of kerosene heaters indoors or in enclosed areas such as tents. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s safety and placement instructions for generator use. Use battery-operated (or battery-backup) carbon monoxide alarms. Be sure to test the batteries regularly.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.