Orem family sickened by carbon monoxide leak in home
Janice Peterson - Daily Herald
OREM -- Four family members are recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning this week, thanks to one woman's quick thinking.
Glenna Wendt woke up at 2:30 a.m. Thursday with what she called the worst headache she'd ever had. She said her husband, Brad, brought her medication, but she began throwing up and feeling dizzy. Wendt said she called in sick to work and scheduled a doctor's appointment for later in the day, but soon realized the situation was more dire.
Wendt said she began to suspect something was seriously wrong when her husband said he was also feeling dizzy, and her in-laws living upstairs reported they were ill as well. Wendt's mother-in-law called her, saying she had called in sick to work and was too dizzy to stand.
"It seemed suspicious to me," she said.
Having seen television shows about carbon monoxide poisoning, Wendt thought it could be the source of the family's illnesses. She quickly told her husband to go outside with her, where her nausea immediately disappeared. She then called 911, and responding firefighters told the family to leave the home because of high levels of carbon monoxide. The home's old furnace had malfunctioned, and combined with a wood-burning fireplace was helping to replace the house's oxygen with carbon monoxide.
All four family members spent three hours in a hyperbaric chamber Thursday and another three hours over two sessions on Friday. Wendt said she feels lucky to be alive after the frightening situation.
Within an hour of leaving the hospital on Thursday, the family installed carbon monoxide detectors in the home, and the furnace was replaced on Friday. Wendt cautioned families to take the proper precautions to protect themselves from a potentially deadly situation by installing detectors.
"That's the only way that you can really know, unless it's dire circumstances," she said.
Wendt's mother-in-law, Jaynann, said she is lucky to be alive. When she awoke feeling ill at 4:30 a.m. Thursday, she took a hot bath, but afterward was so dizzy she couldn't walk back to the bed. Her husband, Donald, was also feeling ill, and she said she thought their symptoms were pointing only to a minor illness.
Had Glenna Wendt not called firefighters, Jaynann Wendt said, she likely would have just stayed in bed all day because she was too sick to walk.
"If she hadn't done anything, we would have been goners, because I thought we had the flu," Jaynann Wendt said.
Friday afternoon, Jaynann Wendt said the family were feeling much better after the treatments at the hospital, but they were still tired and feeling the effects of the carbon monoxide.
Orem police are urging residents to take precautions and watch for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning after Thursday's incident. Sgt. Craig Martinez said there will likely be a few more cases as winter picks up steam, but hopefully residents will recognize the symptoms.
"It's something that concerns us, especially with the temperatures," he said.
For information about carbon monoxide poisoning and how to recognize and prevent it, visit http://www.oremdps.blogspot.com.
What Actions Do I Take if My Carbon Monoxide Alarm Goes Off?
If no one is feeling ill:
• Silence the alarm.
• Turn off all appliances and sources of combustion (i.e. furnace and fireplace).
• Ventilate the house with fresh air by opening doors and windows.
• Call a qualified professional to investigate the source of the possible CO buildup.
If illness is a factor:
• Evacuate all occupants immediately.
• Determine how many occupants are ill and determine their symptoms.
• Call your local emergency number and when relaying information to the dispatcher, include the number of people feeling ill.
• Do not re-enter the home without the approval of a fire department representative.
• Call a qualified professional to repair the source of the CO.
Information from the Orem Department of Public Safety
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Thread: Orem CO Poisoning
12-12-2009, 12:11 PM #1
Orem CO PoisoningFront line since 1983 and still going strong
12-12-2009, 07:46 PM #2
- Join Date
- Sep 2009
I can say this due to the many times of responding and having to go back later due to the fresh ventilation
12-12-2009, 08:05 PM #3
Treat the CO alarm like a smoke detector - GET OUT and stay out! until the FD comes and investigates.......
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