KEARNS, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Carbon monoxide sent four people to the hospital Wednesday. One of them remains in critical condition.
It happened at a home located at 4470 West 5855 South. Investigators said a woman woke up with a headache, smelled a strange odor and called Questar. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas, but whatever she smelt may have saved her life. A Questar employee came out and his meters detected an extremely high level of the deadly gas.
“His meter started showing 800 parts per million which is very dangerous,” said Clint Mecham, Unified Fire. “We start evacuating at 10 parts per million, so extremely high levels.”
The woman got out of the house, but her brother was still inside. That's when the Questar employee, fully aware of the dangerous levels, went in after him.
“He went back in and found the male victim unconscious and removed him from the scene himself,” said Mecham.
Emergency crews took both the man and woman to the hospital. Two children believed to be ages 11 and 12 also woke up with symptoms of poisoning and were taken to the hospital as a precaution, but are back home now as with their mom.
Crews opened all the windows and doors and cleared the house in a matter of minutes. They discovered piping to a vent was broken which caused the build-up of the deadly gas.
“It replaces the oxygen in the blood stream, so basically your body is suffocating even though it doesn't know its suffocating,” said Mecham.
Mecham said the family did have a carbon monoxide detector, but it wasn’t working. A family member tells ABC 4 the family also had a security system which was supposed to alert the family, but didn’t.
“They have a security system in their house and it's supposed to protect them from a fire, carbon monoxide, a break-in anything out of the ordinary and nobody was contacted,” said Kristee Abad.
The man in critical condition has mounting medical costs. A fund has been set up at any Mountain America Credit Union under the name Adrian Mendoza or Debra Zazala.