SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Valley Firefighters responded to a medical call on east Eastland Rd. in Otis Orchards around 6:30 AM today. Firefighters were treating a 21 year old female when the CO monitor on their equipment started to alarm.
They immediately began treating her for CO poisoning along with two additional adults and one infant. All four were transported to local hospitals for further treatment. The CO source is unknown at this time, and Avista is on scene to determine the cause. Condition of the patients is also unknown at this time.
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness and death without warning. CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, cooking or heating stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal, wood, and heating systems. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned by breathing it.
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.
How to prevent CO poisoning from home appliances
Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year. Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home. Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors. Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home near sleeping areas, and check or replace the battery when you change the batteries in your smoke alarms in the fall and spring.