Carbon Monoxide Kills Fresno Woman

November 25, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
An attempt to stay warm ended in tragedy. Investigators found a woman dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in her Southwest Fresno home and three firefighters trying to save her ended up being rushed to the hospital.Firefighters were taken here today after being exposed to very high levels of carbon monoxide. It all started after they were called to a home this morning where a 43-year-old woman was having difficulty breathing. The woman is dead, and the firefighters are all being treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Minutes after arriving to this Southwest Fresno home, fire crews found themselves in a dire situation.

"More than 10 times the amount of carbon monoxide that we normally would call dangerous was found inside this home," said Ken Shockley.

Within minutes, one firefighter passed out. The other two including Matthew Mills started feeling faint.

"They were working on the patient and I went to go and open up the house to get some air flowing through there. When I came back, one of my own members was saying, we need to get out of this building cause we're feeling dizzy," said Matthew Mills.

There was no power inside this home. Fire crews say the 43-year old woman was using a generator for both power and heat. They think carbon monoxide an odorless silent killer may have been building up for several days.

"That's sad. Two days before Thanksgiving, though. It aint right you just can't take life for granted, that's all that means," said a family friend Michael Burton.

As family and friends mourn, these firefighters are counting their blessings. They were put into hyperbaric chambers to reduce the amount of carbon monoxide in their blood. Doctors say they will all make a full recovery.

The three firefighters have since been released from the hospital. There were two other people inside the home. They were also treated for carbon monoxide poisoning and are expected to be okay.

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