GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Three people were poisoned by carbon monoxide in Green Bay. Two of them were young children, who needed special treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.
The Green Bay Metro Fire Department says rescue crews were called about a sick child at a home in the 2400 block of Deer Trail early Wednesday morning, just before 2 o’clock. As rescue crews entered the home, a carbon monoxide detector on an EMS bag went off. Firefighters say they found “extremely high levels” of carbon monoxide in the home. In addition to the sick child who was the subject of the emergency call, rescuers found a second child unconscious.
The home was evacuated and patients were taken to a Green Bay hospital. The children were transported to an Appleton hospital for treatment in a hyberbaric chamber. A family member told Action 2 News that the two children are OK.
The home was ventilated and firefighters and Wisconsin Public Service are investigating what caused the high levels of carbon monoxide. The fire department says the family had carbon monoxide detectors but didn’t realize they had expired.
Fire officials also remind people it’s against the law not to have working CO detectors if you have gas appliances.
“If you have a basement and a first floor, you’re required to have at least two. So if you have a basement, first and second floor, you’re required to have at least three. You can even go above that. In any sleeping area, put a carbon monoxide detector. Because guess what, carbon monoxide is a gas and is the same weight as air,” Green Bay Metro Fire Department Lieutenant Cody Johnson told Action 2 News. ”They did have a carbon monoxide detector; however, it was really outdated.”
The maintenance of this detector is just as important as its installation.
“They do have a life span on them typically between five and seven years,” Johnson said, “whereas, most people kind of associate them as the same as a smoke alarm which is typically ten years. Carbon monoxide is less than seven years and depending on which one you buy, the box will tell you how long it lasts.”
Just like you do with a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide detectors are supposed to be checked once a month, even if they have battery backups. Usually a simple press of the button and a beep confirms it’s still working and the battery is charged.
“Most of the carbon monoxide detectors that they have out now have an ‘end of life’ noise. It will chirp at you to tell you that you need to replace your carbon monoxide detector. But this particular one that was in this house did not have that feature,” added Johnson.
He says you don’t have to spend big on these detectors which range from the mid-teens- to the $50 range.
“As long as they say Underwriter’s Laboratory Accredited, they’re good units to use!” said Johnson.