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Heber family warns of carbon monoxide danger



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HEBER CITY -- A Heber City family has a warning for all Utahns concerning carbon monoxide. Firefighters discovered fatal levels of the deadly gas inside their home just after Thanksgiving.

The family says their trouble started Thanksgiving night when they lit a fire. The next day, their newly-installed ADT alarm system, which has a carbon monoxide detector, sounded in the middle of the day.

"I thought there's no way. The doors are open; there's nothing wrong. Maybe their system is too sensitive,'" recalls homeowner Joneil Nye.

**What are the symptoms of CO poisoning?** The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. *-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*
The Nye family lit another fire. Joneil says she was the last to tend to it around 11 p.m. At 7 a.m. the alarm sounded again. ADT called to check on the family. Joneil can be heard on a recording of the call telling the emergency dispatch operator that everything is fine.

Despite the reassurance, the operator called the Wasatch County Fire District, which discovered fatal levels of CO in the home. They were the highest in Joneil's 3-year-old daughter's bedroom.

"It could have well killed all of us," Joneil says. "It was pretty scary."

**What is carbon monoxide?** Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. *-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*
**How does CO poisoning work?** Red blood cells pick up CO quicker than they pick up oxygen. If there is a lot of CO in the air, the body may replace oxygen in blood with CO. This blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can damage tissues and result in death. *-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*
The Wasatch County Fire District says it responds to about two possible carbon monoxide leak cases a week from October to April. They say the Nyes' case serves as a reminder to trust your alarm even if you're not feeling ill. "Our alarms go off at a level of 35 parts per million. Sometimes it takes a little bit higher than that, maybe over 50 ppm, before \[people\] have a headache, nausea, dizziness," said fire district spokeswoman Janet Carson.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 400 people die per year in the United States of CO poisoning.

E-mail: sdallof@ksl.com

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Sarah Dallof

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