Carbon Monoxide Eyed in Maryland Incident

Carbon monoxide poisoning is being eyed following several incidents at a residence this week where one person died and others became ill.

On Thursday morning, crews from Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Department responded to for two sick residents in an Oxon Hill.

It was the fourth call to the home on Wentworth Drive since Tuesday, officials said in a prepared statement.

The home did not have a carbon monoxide detector.

Although they had been to the residence several times, firefighters did not suspect carbon monoxide was to blame until this morning, fire officials said.

The events at the house started on Tuesday when a man in his 70s was taken to a hospital after complaining of feeling ill. On Wednesday, an ambulance crew transported a woman in her 70s.

Later the same day, another ambulance crew went to house to find a man in his 50s deceased. Officials said the man had a medical history, but didn’t specify the nature.

Officials said they don’t know if the gas was a factor in the death.

Crews were called back to the house Thursday morning after a neighbor called 911 for the same patients who were transported earlier in the week.

They were taken to a Baltimore hospital for treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

Firefighters used their gas monitoring equipment and found a moderately high level, 80 parts per million (ppm), of CO. This reading was obtained after a neighbor opened doors to ventilate the house possibly reducing the amount of CO in the house before detection equipment was used, according to a prepared statement.

Further investigation by firefighters revealed a natural gas furnace with what appeared to be a faulty exhaust pipe. The furnace was shut down and officials from the Washington Gas Company were summoned to the scene.

Firefighter/Medics had no reason to believe or suspect that carbon monoxide was a factor in any of the above incidents until this morning. However, the Fire/EMS Departments Quality Assurance office will conduct a complete review of each incident, officials said.

The Wentworth Drive home is located within the same community where five residents succumbed to CO exposure on Shelby Drive in April of this year. Firefighters went door-to-door offering to check or install smoke alarms and CO detectors. The Fire/EMS Department has also been offering to visit any Prince George’s County home and provide one or both of these life saving devices. This service is available by calling our Safety First program at 301-864-SAFE (7233).