Carbon Monoxide Sends 4 to Hospitals in Harford County
Improper generator use threatened citizen safety from Joppatowne to Edgewood.
Several people in Harford County were evaluated for carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday, according to a statement from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company (JMVFC).
A 9-year-old and two adults were taken from Joppatowne to Franklin Square Hospital for carbon monoxide exposure, said JMVFC.
Alerted by a residential carbon monoxide detector on the 700 block of Jonathan Drive on Tuesday at 9:18 p.m., firefighters found the gas present at levels that would be deadly after eight hours of exposure.
A generator under a deck was the cause, according to JMVFC, which reported a basement window was cracked to feed power cords to the generator.
“Because the generator was under the deck, it was not adequately ventilated, causing the wind to blow the fumes into the house,” according to a JMVFC press release.
The three people who had been inside the Joppatowne residence were evaluated at Franklin Square Hospital and were in stable condition as of Wednesday, said JMVFC.
The same day, firefighters evaluated multiple people for another incident involving a generator, this time at a business.
Employees from a Rent-a-Center in Edgewood were evacuated around 2:30 p.m. after a man who worked there sought medical treatment at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. He reported flu-like symptoms and tests showed unusually high levels of carbon monoxide in his system, according to the JMVFC. The man said he had been at the Rent-a-Center, where he worked, before coming to the hospital.
Firefighters traveled to the Rent-a-Center and found a portable generator had been placed outside the building at 1400 Pulaski Highway in Edgewood that was not far enough from the door, according to a press release from JMVFC.
"These are two examples where the silent killer was caught in time," according to the release from JMVFC. "The JMVFC cannot stress enough the importance of working carbon monoxide detectors and working smoke detectors in the home."
A statement issued Wednesday from Harford County's office of the county executive said that "improper use of generators...[is] one of the major concerns of Harford County fire and EMS personnel."
Generators should be 50 feet from the door, according to Susquehanna Hose Company Chief Scott Hurst.
On Tuesday night, the Hose Company in Havre de Grace also responded to a carbon monoxide call, Hurst said.
"It was due to a faulty detector from the power being out," Hurst said of the incident on Bayview Drive. He encouraged people using generators to have a battery backup for their carbon monoxide detectors that would kick in if power outages occur.