Six family members — including five children — are recovering after being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide at their Nashville home.
Nashville firefighters, and officials from Piedmont Gas and MDHA were called to the scene at the Edgehill apartments on 14th Avenue South Saturday morning. Officials determined the source of the gas was an indoor heating unit that had malfunctioned.
Home heating systems, hot water heaters, space heaters and generators can all emit carbon monoxide if not properly ventilated, and officials with the Nashville Fire Department said the gas can cause illness or even death.
"If you get into upper levels of it, you would have nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache," said Kenneth Caruthers, District Chief of Special Operations for the Nashville Fire Department. "Just take it seriously. It’s colorless and odorless, you won’t know it's in the atmosphere until it's too late. That’s why early detection is necessary."
Caruthers said every home should have at least one working carbon monoxide detector that has been installed properly and is tested frequently. It is also important to make sure all gas appliances are vented properly. You should never use a gas range to heat your home, or use a generator inside a building. It also helps to get your chimney checked or cleaned every year.
At the impacted apartment in Edgehill, both the smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector have been replaced and the vent pipe was repaired. Officials said all units at the apartment complex are equipped with combination smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
"We were extremely worried about the family," said Jamie Berry, Director of Communication for MDHA. "We found out they were released from the hospital which we are grateful for."
January is typically the deadliest month of the year for carbon monoxide poisoning.